Security firm paying less than the minimum wage

I refer to Mr Mohamed Akeel’s letter in the Stabroek News of September 20, 2013 ‘It seems as if total confusion surrounds the National Minimum Wage Order’ which suggests that the matter may not be entirely and satisfactorily resolved. I do not wish to add to that debate and have raised through the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and other channels questions concerning what I consider a highly commendable piece of legislation. I believe that the government should take those concerns into account and forestall any action that could, in any way, affect the operationalization of the Order.
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There was no ‘sleight of hand’ involved in the fixing of the national minimum wage

Your editorial ‘Poverty and the minimum wage’ (SN, June 19) falls short of the usually high standard that makes a Stabroek News editorial such a pleasure to read and a work of considerable authority. It is incorrect to apply the estimated unemployment rate to the total number of every woman, man and child to arrive at the number of unemployed persons in the country. In fact, in unemployment statistics only the active workforce is considered.

A huge problem I have with the editorial is your unsupported description of the fixing of a national minimum wage for workers in every sector of the economy as a “sleight of hand.” The only suggestion you offer is that the government is seeking to divest itself of any responsibility to offer welfare/public assistance to some 31,000 who will move out of the abject poverty group. Where is the evidence of the percentage of persons in the abject poverty group who now receive such assistance, or is this mere speculation? And second, of any strict means test being applied in the decision on the payment of public assistance? In fact, in the case of old age pensions, the government does not apply the means test required by the Old Age Pensions Act which I have argued it should, since it causes pensions to be paid to those not legally entitled, at the expense of those really in need.

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