Seeking increase to hourly rate is not playing politics: NFP

NFP leader Professor Biman Prasad says seeking an increase of a minimum wage of $5 an hour was not playing politics but an attempt to enhance the livelihood of our ordinary people. Picture: FT FILE

NATIONAL Federation Party (NFP) leader Professor Biman Prasad says Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is demeaning workers earning a minimum wage by accusing the opposition of “politicising” the issue of their pay.

In a statement yesterday, Prof Prasad claimed Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s habit was to sidetrack from the fundamental issues when he was unable to find logical answers to questions.

He said seeking an increase to the “meagre” $2.68 hourly rate to at least a living wage of $5 an hour was not playing politics but an attempt to enhance the livelihood of our ordinary people.

“Playing politics is promulgating a decree on October 3, 2014, three days before the first parliamentary sitting, to stipulate unprecedented exorbitantly high salaries and allowances for Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers,” Prof Prasad said.

“Playing politics is practising bipartisanship for the only time in Parliament on September 29, 2016, with the major Opposition party — to vote for themselves hefty increases to allowances ranging from 100 per cent to 250 per cent, only seven months after the devastating effects of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Playing politics with the lives of people is rejecting several parliamentary motions moved by NFP in Parliament, like increasing the price of raw milk paid to dairy farmers, implementing a minimum guaranteed price of $100 per tonne of sugar cane, kicking out a petition by Rakiraki canegrowers for Government to build a new sugar mill, to name a few.”

More on this story in today’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our E-Edition.

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