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Rises in minimum wage under fire

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PLANS to introduce two rises in the Island’s minimum wage have been criticised by a hospitality sector representative, who has called for rising housing costs to be tackled instead.

Simon Soar

Shortly before Christmas, Deputy Rob Ward lodged a proposition which, if agreed, would see a further increase in the minimum wage in October to £8.66, taking it beyond the planned rise to £8.32 that is due in April. The current rate is £8.02.

Simon Soar, the chief executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association, said that the body was disappointed by the move at a time when pay in the industry was already rising above the rate of inflation.

‘The JHA has already looked carefully at the Employment Forum’s recommendation to increase the minimum wage by 3.8% from 1 April to £8.32 per hour and feel an attempt to include an additional increase in October will hit our members unfairly,’ he said.

‘We would suggest that the States need to look at the rising price of accommodation and how that is disproportionately affecting Islanders on lower incomes rather than target wages further, especially after States Members voted to increase the duty on alcohol in the 2020 Budget.

‘How many more cost increases are members of the hospitality industry expected to absorb?’

The proposition is due to be debated on 21 January.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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