Minimum Wage adjustment is a clear deal between some employers and the Government – FTUC
Not all the credit goes to the Government - Anthony

Minimum Wage adjustment is a clear deal between some employers and the Government – FTUC

Not all the credit goes to the Government - Anthony

By Semi Turaga
Friday 25/03/2022
General Secretary Felix Anthony

The Fiji Trades Union Congress says the Minimum Wage adjustment announced in the Revised 2021-2022 National Budget is a clear deal between some employers and the Government.

National Secretary Felix Anthony says while they firmly believe that the adjustment is long overdue, they will wait for its implementation.

He says the $4 minimum wage is not effective until 1st January 2023 well after the elections.

Anthony adds they also note that the reduction in FNPF contributions by employers have not been reinstated and is a gift to employers apart from other reliefs announced for employers.

He claims that the review of civil servant salaries is again another sweetener to entice civil servants to vote for this Government.

Anthony adds they also note that nothing has been said about fixed-term contracts for civil servants which threatens job security and promotes intimidation and fear amongst workers. He says the Minister for Economy so boldly declared that only “fools” would object to the increase in minimum wage, civil service salary review, reintroduction of overtime payment, removal of VAT on basic food items, removal of tax on petrol etc.

Anthony adds what the Minister for Economy did not say who in the first place had imposed all these taxes and objected to the reviews from taking place all these years.

He says the Minister is only cleaning the mess he created years ago.

Anthony adds the Attorney General must not forget that he has single-handedly been Minister of Everything for the past 15 years and therefore cannot call anyone else a fool but himself.

He says on a positive note, they are glad that the Minister has finally realized the mess that he presided over all these years.

The FTUC National Secretary says they recognize that all these issues are not new but have been on the agenda of all political parties and the FTUC.

He adds simply addressing them does not mean that all credit goes to the Government of the day.

Anthony stresses the credit goes to the people who will exercise their right to vote which moves the Government to do the right thing, at least before the election.

He went on to say that while many new initiatives have been announced in the hope that the economic recovery would be immediate which is why these initiatives are all to be effective immediately.

Anthony adds this is all to be implemented while the Government has announced new borrowing of $950 million which would mean a record debt level of almost $9 billion or about 83% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which government plans to cover $535 million through external financing, $343 million through domestic borrowing and $72m through cash reserves.

He says this is a massive increase and will become a huge burden for future generations.

Anthony adds they recognize the difficult position that this Government finds itself with the voters and the need for some desperate measures to win over voters. He further says of concern is the sustainability of the new measures announced.

The FTUC National Secretary adds they are aware of the last budget announcements where medicines were to be free in Government Hospitals only to find they were not available in hospitals.

He says even simple issues like injections were to be bought by patients from private pharmacies to be administered in the hospitals.

Anthony adds while it may be uplifting for some to hear all the good initiatives, we will need to wait and see how it is implemented and whether it is a temporary initiative just for the elections. He says the FTUC has experienced that such announcements during election time could well be temporary.

Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Budget 2022 - 2023
The 2022/2023 National Budget will be delivered on the 15th of July this ...
22 hours ago

RKS and Tailevu North retain Tailevu Zone title
RKS won the boys division with 25 gold, 21 silver and 24 bronze. Tailevu North College took out the girls title with 33 gold, 17 silver and 9 bronze ...
9 days ago

Grammar wins Suva Zone 2 girls and boys title
Suva Grammar School have taken out the boys and girls division titles of the Coca-Cola Suva Zone 2 athletics meet. The Grammar boys finished with 28 gold, 24 silver and 15 bronze.
20 days ago
Landowners to be taken to task if marijuana is planted on their land - Qiliho
Police will now look at the law dealing with illicit drugs and take the landowners to task if marijuana is planted on their land. Commissioner of P...
15 hours ago
Rapist stepfather to be sentenced today
A man guilty of raping his stepdaughter will be sentenced by Justice Daniel Goundar today. He was found guilty of two counts of rape. It was ...
38 minutes ago

Application for the registration of two proposed political parties rejected
The application for the registration of two proposed political parties has been rejected by the Fijian Elections Office. The Fijian Elections ...
39 minutes ago

Farmer asks AG to look after agriculture sector and not rely on tourism
If farmers continue to be victimized due to land lease issues, I do not know when they will be able to contribute to the economic development of the ...
14 hours ago

No plans to fix the road for Koromakawa villagers - FRA
There are currently no plans to fix the road for Koromakawa villagers in the district of Wairiki as the Fiji Roads Authority says its a non FRA road ...
15 hours ago

Tax collections outperform the June forecast by $15.3m
The Fiji Revenue and Customs Service collected a net revenue of $193.8 million in June this year which is the highest monthly revenue collected ...
15 hours ago