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By Sharon Engnui

President of PNG trade Union congress John Paska revealed that the congress is submitting for a 300 % wage rise for minimum wage earners across the board. This represents ten consecutive years lost during which the minimum wage did not get adjusted to keep pace with inflation and high cost of living.

According to the statement from the president the current minimum wage is K3.50 per hour which is the lowest in the Asia Pacific region.

A fortnight of K280 is not enough to sustain basic needs of a worker much less a family of over 5 over two weeks let alone 2 days.

The 300% minimum wage increase will bring the minimum hourly rate to K10.50 which is K420 a week or K840 per week which is a justifiable rate.

The president highlighted that the government has ignored and refused to address this key socio-economic policy area.

Highlighting on the disadvantages for such he stated that the non-awarding of increase in the national minimum wage over the last 10 years has resulted in approximately K8 Billion in lost wages much of this went offshore denying reinvestment in the local economy.

Furthermore, Mr. Paska highlighted that the High inflation is wreaking havoc not only on minimum wage earners but on high wages, levels of wage also suffocating the general public, as well as small business.

 He added that the hike in prices is evident in all shelves of the shops and the only way to address this is to award a genuine minimum wage rise.

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