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“They could do better” – Citizens say $60,000 private sector minimum wage not ‘enough’


The Ministry of Labour on Wednesday posted the Labour National Minimum Wage Order 2022 for the private sector on its social media page, causing a stir among the Guyanese population.


The Order states that a person employed in the private sector should not be paid less than $60,147. To give a breakdown, $347 hourly, $2,776 daily, and $13,880 weekly.


MTV News Update solicited comments from social media platforms, and the team spoke to persons around the City Mall and Regent Street area on Thursday.


“Well, I think it needs to be increased because everyday cost of living going up, right now when you think about the sugar price, $300 a pound, everything is just on an increase and then it can’t work for me then. I believe if like a $80,000 or so minimum wage so that can compensate because you have to pay rent, bills and $60,000 can’t compensate,” a woman who did not give her name said.


Another male added, “I still feel it lil bit; they could do better than that, remember now Guyana get oil and we lil short of sugar, I feel they could do something better…no poor people ain’t really getting money, poor people deh suffering it might look like if we doing good but we aint doing good [...] like a little $80,000 it could be a little more better.”

A woman expressed, “Well, personally, I don’t think $60,000 is good enough right, because the cost of living right now has gone up, the price is increasing on foodstuff, so I don’t think $60,000 is good enough for a household […] maybe a $100,000 because you have to consider persons who are maybe paying rent and what’s not.


“I do not think it is sufficient; first thing is, the country is going through inflation at the moment. That means everything in the country skyrocketing. They barely raise the minimum wage to just $60,000. I don’t know how an adult is supposed to live on that when you have your different bills to pay […] it should be at least a $100,000 another posited.

“It’s not sufficient because the mere fact that $60,000 cannot maintain a single mothers, so to speak, even to both parties working $60,000 would not be able to maintain […] give and take, I think they can do better, I think it should be an additional 10, 15,000 more. $80,000 would be adequate, yes.”


The majority of the persons MTV News Update spoke with said $80,000 might be sufficient to sustain a household. $44,200 was the initial private sector minimum wage, an increase from $35,000 in 2017.


When the Irfaan Ali-led government assumed office, they commenced discussions with the private sector for an increase in the National Minimum wage, which was approved recently. The Order is effective from July 1, 2022.



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