Submission ForIncrease of Minimum Wage

The Papua New GuineaTrade Union Congress (TUC) will present a submission tothe 2013 Minimum Wage Beard early next year in Port Moresby to seek and improverthe current minimum wage.

TUC’s General Secretary, John Paska, says this is a very significant event andthe proceedings are almost unique in encouraging debate aboutthPNG’s economy and society.


The economy of Papua New Guineais going through one ofthe longest periods of growth since independence and in recent years has been one ofthe fastest-growing economies in Asia andthe Pacific.


Despite this boom,the living standards of minimum wage workers has gone backwards for the better part ofthe last two decades while profits have taken an ever-increasing share of national income.


Mr. John Paska said, between 1994 and 2011the total value of profits increased by nine times compared with a doubling ofthe total paid in wages.


This means that Kina 8.2 billion went from wage earners to those who gain from business dividends and directors fees. 


Paska says,the TUC submission shows that it is quite impossible for minimum wage workers to live offthe current wage of K606 per week in 2013.


This is almost six timesthe minimum wage.


Even with two people working full-time, a household of two adults and three children cannot supportthemselves solely fromthe minimum wage. 


Meanwhile, Mr Paska says, minimum wage earners are surviving by subsidising employers by meeting part oftheir own living costs through growingtheir own food, help from relatives, selling food or betel nut and sex work.

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