Tabuya: $4 an hour minimum wage rate

SODELPA provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya with volleyball participants. Picture: SUPPLIED

IT is a shame that Fiji cannot increase its national minimum wage rate to $4 an hour, says Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) provisional candidate Lynda Tabuya.

Ms Tabuya said a $4 an hour rate for the national minimum wage would be a start towards human decency.

“A wage of $4 an hour is barely enough for a family to live on, but it’s a start towards human decency. Subsidies and tax incentives must help small businesses to pay these wage rates,” she claimed.

She said the idea of a $4 an hour minimum wage rate was not just pulled out of the hat.

“The Fiji Trades Union Congress has met extensively with stakeholders (employers) and after many consultations has arrived at this amount.

“For families and businesses that are earning above $30,000, the amount of taxes being charged are astronomical. New taxes seem to magically appear every time I look at a receipt.

“Increasing national debt is leading to increased taxes which is making poor people poorer. Billions in taxpayer dollars should not be wasted on handouts and extravagant projects that are a direct cause of this.”

She claimed that the various incentives of Government under the FIJI-CARE program was coming at the cost of higher debt and tax rates.

“This is not only unsustainable but unacceptable.

“The anger at the injustice done to half our population that lives below or on the poverty line is the reason why I continue to fight.

“(Mahatma) Gandhi once said that poverty is the worst form of violence. Poverty discriminates, speaking from personal experience.

“The next time you go shopping, take a closer look at the receipt and realise that all those taxes printed at the bottom are paying for the millions in handouts and freebies.”