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Bahamas: Minimum Wage Rise ‘Not Anytime Soon’

FINANCE Minister K Peter Turnquest yesterday said the government has not given any detailed consideration to increasing the minimum wage.

He moved to temper expectations after Labour Minister Dion Foulkes told reporters on Tuesday the National Tripartite Council was actively discussing the matter.

Mr Foulkes noted the council has not presented any definitive recommendations.

Yesterday, Mr Turnquest said: “The government has not given any detailed consideration to that matter at this point. I know there is a feeling in the public that there ought to be some adjustments to the minimum wage.

“We of course know that there has been some increase in the cost of living as a result of the increase in the value added tax and the inflation rate shows that, but the trend also shows that is evening out, as we expect, and that over time it will start to normalise.”

Mr Turnquest underscored the need to measure the impact such an increase would have on current growth projections.

“And what it will mean to the increase in the cost of living as a result of a potential increase in the wage, and what dampening effect that may have on employment and the economy,” he said.

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