Flanking measures not necessary

A 42-hour workweek; no longer pay hourly wages, but weekly; and do not base the first monthly 20 hours overtime on an overtime tariff. Now that Parliament has approved a 15-percent increase of the minimum wage, the Chamber of Commerce (KvK) has her own version of flanking policy, in view of ‘a sound island economy’. Parliamentarian Farie Metry doesn’t think that measures are necessary.

“The KvK had these ‘conditions’ already on the shelves. They are now grabbing their chance to impose these on the people. Important is that not all the benefits of positive economic developments go to just a small group of people, but are spread over the entire population”, said PNP-Parliament member Faroe Metry, who is the initiator of the bill to increase the minimum wage with 15 percent. “The economic growth that we are now experiencing can easily manage an increase of the minimum wage with 15 percent.”

Metry furthermore indicates that he will keep an eye on the process of the bill passed by Parliament, so that all agencies involved can smoothly submit their advice and soon realize the increase.

The set of measures that the KvK has in mind to ‘stimulate the effect of the labour market and the labour productivity’ also contains:
- replacing the dismissal law with a labour law;
- suppler admission of foreign workers;
- tax-free travel allowance;
- reduce taxes on medium range incomes;
- economize on public expenses, like medical expenses.

The island government announced that with the increase of energy prices, they will also develop a flanking policy to ease a few things for mainly the lowest incomes. According to KvK, ‘nobody seems to care about the fact’ that unilateral measures contribute to the further crumbling away of the economic growth.

According to KvK, ‘dealing with the development of the island in a responsible manner implies that there is no room at all for the adjustment of the minimum wage – not even with 5 percent – without having it go hand in hand with flanking policy’. With regard to the trade and industry, without those measures, even a discussion on salary increases is not possible.

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

August 19, 2008

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