The difference between wants and needs

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Dear Editor,

Re: The need to create more jobs

The biggest problem with the Minimum wage, cost of living and many other local issues is the massive difference between the wants and needs of the Urban dwellers versus those that live the village life far from Apia.

Cost of living determines minimum wages in other countries like Australia and New Zealand, however it can’t work here in Samoa. 

The cost of living in a Savaii village, living on family land, with the plantation and young men fishing is going to be SIGNIFICANTLY LESS than those that live in Apia on freehold title and no plantations to supplement the family.

$2.30 may be the minimum wage by law and delivers a tax free $100 to those working 5 days of 7 hours and 4 hours on saturday, which in many villages in Savaii is a good wage to support the family.

However, in Apia, such a situation would not be sufficient to cover the cost of living, which is why many jobs there pay much more than minimum.

One thing that can’t happen is for two minimum wage rate, one for urban and one for villagers, as this would create further issues between the respective populations.

Personally, I think the minimum should be immediately raised to $3.00 and those with the potential to earn more need to be conscious that they must deliver value to their employers, otherwise there are plenty more lined up to take their privileged position.

 

Kevin Hartin

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