Thursday 18 July, 2019

Pensioners, minimum wage earners to get increase soon – Shahine

Labour Minister, Shahine Robinson

Labour Minister, Shahine Robinson

Pensioners and minimum wage earners could soon benefit from increases, according to the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson.

The Minister, addressing parliament’s Standing Finance Committee on Thursday, said she will make an announcement about an increase for National Insurance Scheme (NIS) pensioners when she makes her contribution to the upcoming Sectoral Debate.

Robinson told the House of Representatives that while money has been set aside in the 2018/2019 Estimates of Expenditure to cover the increase, she is awaiting a final report from the actuaries. She said she is in receipt of the third draft of the actuarial report and now awaits the fourth draft.

Former Minister of Labour, Horace Dalley, commented that NIS pensioners should be given priority when it comes to the disbursement of funds from the scheme.

Meanwhile, minimum wage earners who have not received an increase in two years will soon benefit from an increase. In fact, an increase in the minimum wage was a campaign promise of the Jamaica Labour Party in the lead up to the February, 2016 General Elections.

Noting that “we haven’t had a minimum wage adjustment for several years,” Dalley commented that “this (an increase) is something that we use to adjust the people at the bottom (of the salary scale).”

Minister Robinson assured him that the Minimum Wage Commission had completed its work and an announcement would also be made in short order regarding the increase in the minimum wage.

The minimum wage was last increased on March 1, 2016. At that time it moved from $5,200 to $6,200 for a 40-hour work week. At the same time, the minimum wage for industrial security guards was increased from $8,198 per hour to $8,854 per hour for a 40-hour work week.

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