Minister with responsibility for Labour Keith Scott has admitted the need for the minimum wage to be raised, but said Government can only do as much with what it has available.
In an interview with a section of the media, the minister explained that the current state of the economy has somehow influenced the state of affairs as it relates to salary increases and more particularly the raising of the minimum wage for public servants.
“We are cognizant that we need to go up, but we can only go as far as the size of the pie allows us”, he noted.
Scott said it is important to note that at the end of the day the country’s economy cannot be compared to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of other developed countries like the United States of America (USA).
He said government is aware wages have to be increased, and it is for this reason that the mining industry has undertaken a survey to re-examine the role of the sector and its contribution to the economy.
He said however, Government, over its one year in office, has been able to make some progress in this regard: “It’s not just wages, but the living standards of our people. We have been making life easier for the pensioner and children, providing them with buses, bicycles and boats”, Scott noted.
He said government is hoping that with the offset of oil and other industries, things will begin looking up for all Guyanese.
Meanwhile, the minister acknowledged that investors have already indicated their interest in Guyana, and this is another positive for the economy.
Asked about government’s plan to lower the unemployment rate in Guyana, Scott said things are in the pipeline to help in this regard. He said government has accepted that Guyana has unemployment and the rate needs to come down.