Discussion: ‘Living Wage – Relief Is On The Way’

October 16, 2018 | 22 Comments

[Written by Don Burgess]

“Work should lift you out of poverty, not keep you there.”

That slogan is attached to a discussion on the proposed living wage which will be held on Thursday, October 18 at St Paul Centennial Hall at 6:30 pm.

It is proposed that the Living Wage is set at $12.25 per hour as of May 1, 2019, then at $18.23 as of May 1, 2020. On May 1, 2021, the implementation of the national living wage will be proposed by the Wage Commission, and afterwards to biennially index the wage to inflation.

Panelists include statistician Cordell Riley, Rev Nicholas Tweed, MP Rolfe Commissiong, and Martha Dismont who is director of the Family Center. Mr Commissiong chaired the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on the Living Wage. MP Kim Swan will moderate the discussion.

The event, titled The Living Wage – Relief is on the Way, is sponsored by the PLP Political Education Committee.

The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee’s report on a Living Wage [PDF here]:

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Comments (22)

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  1. Question says:

    Won’t be long before we have automated checkouts.

    This lot still have not created one single actual JOB.

    • David says:

      Hey, at least we know who to blame when economics 101 happens and this policy ends up hurting the very people it’s intended to help :)

  2. Bermuda born... Bermuda raised says:

    And what’s the plan when all businesses simply increase their prices to offset the increase in labour costs and to maintain margins???

    Just curious

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Price controls. Remember the Price Control Commission?

      The plan appears to be to inflate wages and cap costs so that small businesses go bankrupt (it will not affect large businesses).

  3. haha says:

    The PLP is the hole in the bucket that is Bermuda.

  4. sandgrownan says:

    They really have no clue. Utterly bereft of ideas. This exposes the lack of understanding completely.

  5. sick & tired says:

    Get ready for more lay offs. Some companies are just about getting by. How do you propose they afford these increases. The only way will be to lay off staff and increase their prices, which puts them right back in the same boat.

    • Deborah Norman says:

      So you think being paid under $12 an hour is fine? and companies should continue doing it?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Now, now. You cannot really expect economic common sense to affect political jingoism.

  6. Deborah Norman says:

    So let me get this right you think being paid under 12 dollars an hour is fine?

    • question says:

      It should be a free negotiation between the employer and employee. And next year the plan is to increase it by 50% to over $18 an hour. So some people are going to lose their jobs because of this, Deborah.
      All while the PLP talk about ‘reducing the cost of living’.

      • Portia says:

        No actually, if you read the article it is proposed to start at $12.25 per hour as of May 1, 2019, and then potentially move to $18.23 as of May 1, 2020, not next year.

        And no, labor negotiations cannot be a free exchange between employer and employee because too many businesses have shown how badly they behaved in the past by taking advantage of workers, so SOME sort of Government regulation of labor is necessary. Most businesses do not want to offer pensions, health insurance, sick leave etc. If these protections did not exist, who do you think would be left holding the bill if a worker gets sick and can’t work? Who do you think they will come to for help? Answer: Government and/or charities. So Government does need to get involved.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    This is what happens when people who have no idea of how business works try to dictate how run a business. You voted for it.

  8. aceboy says:

    Burt claims he is an economist. I would like to have him show one example of a minimum (or living) wage that has had a positive impact on a country’s economy and the for the people who live/lived in that economy.

    They are selling a concept to people that workers will have more money in their pockets, but are omitting to point out the fact that prices will increase to make the purchasing power of that money the same or worse.

    Stupidity incarnate.

    But it “will be different when we do it”…for some bizarre reason, because we live in Bermuda, which is another world.

  9. Genius says:

    you sick people and ignorant politicians, you think 12$ is a living wage? I am on $24 and struggle to make it month to month, with lowest rent, lowest bills, etc. Health insurance here is atrocious and the way they run those companies is like a mob racket. Half my paycheck goes to unused health insurance, I pay about $18,000 for it and what do I see out of it? I still pay $90 for my bi-annual dentist visit, still had to fork out $1500 for a dental procedure which cost $3,000, and still pay $35 to go to the doctor for half an hour. A living wage here would be $25, a decent wage would be over $25 for sure. Get your heads right people.

    • Gustav says:

      ok understand
      why don’t you say : at least $ 50.00 per hour ?
      in that case you are fine .
      because your employer ( and those of all the others ) will not increase their selling rates.
      they will take it out of their huge margin they have already .
      and btw medical should be free of charge for all grass root Bermudians.
      is that your dream ?
      keep on dreaming , you simply don’t understand that the world is not turning around bermudians

  10. Jus' Askin' says:

    Silly Wabbits :-(


  11. The Original Truth™ says:

    Wow! That’s almost the same as Canada’s minimum wage even after conversion. If an employer can’t pay their employee more than someone working at a Tim Hortons in Canada than they need to face it they have no business skills. The robbery prices charged for products & services in Bermuda are for more than Tim Hortons. I could get a wrap, a frapachino & a box of timbits for the same price as one burger no fries, no drink just the burger from a restaurant in Bermuda.

  12. A company just attempted to hire a Mason and was offered 17 dollars an hour…the prospective employer inicated it was all he could offer due to high cost of required deductions.He could pay more maybe if buisiness picks up….oh yes he regrets not having put in for two work permits cause then he could have another low paid fellow (he could train to work for less).
    Has any one any insite as to what 40 hors looks like after deductions?
    Then take fuel(petrol), gas ,electricity,rent,morgage?,medicine,clothing,hair care, repairs,don’t get a parking ticket,parking in Hamilton,you cannot eat out, do you have landscapers?,what happens if your psycotic neighbour steals a tank full of water,you cannot afford legal council (so your on your own),Now…what happens if you have mouths to feed…their needs (all the above),then you have to drive your own trash to tynes bay, if your cycle or car doesn’t go so now you have to catch a cab Cha ching!No public transportation means you just lost that MEAGER wage that really has NO correlation to inflation or cost of living…………and you think I care if your social account has been impersonated…when I hear it it seems like a rather small issue comparatively.
    I wish I had time for trivial pursuit but my doggies gotta poop…have a nice day.

  13. Ummmm minimum wage for labourer should be $25 an hour…I draw this from gdp.

  14. zzzzz says:

    I’m against additional regulation, but, if you can’t pay your staff $12.25 an hour or even $18.23 I’d suggest you don’t have a viable business in 2018.

    Legislating a minimum wage a above the $18.23 mark may be as step too far.

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