Published On: Mon, Dec 3rd, 2018

Business association advises against increase minimum wage

Hensley-KoeimanWILLEMSTAD - The Minister of Social Development, Labor and Welfare Hensley Koeiman announced an increase in the minimum wage. This will be increased by 2.1 percent to 9.37 guilders per hour. This will be the fifth increase in four years. This change is set to take place on January 1, 2019.

The Curaçao Business Association (VBC) is urging the Minister to reconsider his decision. The organization argues that it has not been proven that the salary increase has had the intended result which is namely that the more money people have, the more they will spend and that this is good for the economy.

The VBC says that the result has been quite the contrary. The increase in minimum wage has been accompanied by more economic contraction and rising unemployment every year. The VBC stated in a press release that a flanking policy has not been pursued simultaneously to improve labor productivity and the competitive position. Also the cost of doing business continues to rise.

The Minister states in his motivation that 2019 will be a difficult year with uncertainties in various sectors such as the refinery.

Minimum laborers are mainly active in trade, construction and industry in mainly small and medium-sized companies. "The pre-existence of this type of companies, and thus the maintenance of employment for mainly minimum-income households, is of crucial importance," says Koeiman.

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