The minimum wage should be increased in proportion to match the cost of living.
So says Tusi Tamate of Siusega. A farmer and a father of eight, Tusi said they cannot afford any good food, just Chinese food because that is all they can afford with the money they make.
“So my wife works and we have a farm. And the reason I now work on a farm is because when I used to work along with my wife, even both our salaries combined was never enough,” he said.
“There is food, the bills, school fees, family and church obligations and the money we both collected was never enough."
“And then I turned to farming, where we get food and also get money after selling my produce."
“This is a much better plan than what we had earlier,” said Tusi.
The 38-year-old said the cost of living continues to increase but the minimum wage has remained the same for as long as he can remember.
“It’s ridiculous and imbalanced and not fair,” he said.
“If the minimum wage was up to par with how expensive things are now days, it would be good."
“I don’t know anyone working on the minimum hourly rate, who can actually enjoy a good meal with their salaries, or save up some money, or even try and develop their family. “
He said this is where the Government comes in. “They need to increase the minimum wage to at least $5 and it won’t even out a dent into their budget."
“They need to change the law and make the businesses raise the rate, of course the businesses would make a fuss, but without the employees they cannot operate."
“They benefit big time from the profits of the hard work of the employees."
“But going back to the Government, they just secured the lease of an airplane; I mean if they can do that why can’t they raise the minimum wage for the employees."
“That’s how much money the Government has and I know they are looking to make money, but the thing is can they look at how they are going about doing things."
“The Value Added Goods and Services Tax slapped on us, and yet the low income families are barely making it with their salaries."
“And that is why I know for a fact that poverty is in Samoa, even though the Government has denied it to the max, but I know because we are living in a poor country."
“The Government needs to change the way they look at things, instead of looking at us as tax payers, they should consider the fact that we are human and treat us that way."
“Stop trying to impress outsiders with the big buildings we have, that taxpayers are paying for and for what?”