Employers Bonaire concerned about the effects of minimum wage increase

High angle view of unrecognizable person counting US Dollar bills. Horizontal composition. Image taken with Nikon D800 and developed from Raw format.

KRALENDIJK – During a recent meeting of the Central Dialogue, the Business Federation Bonaire (BFB) expressed its concerns about the possible substantial increase in the Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) in Bonaire. 

The report of the Minimum Social Wage Commission (Caribbean Netherlands) suggests a significant increase of the SMW to a level of 1,750 USD per month. “While pursuing a social minimum is noble, the potential consequences for local businesses should not be underestimated. 

In fact, the appendices to the Minimum Social Wage Commission Report warn that a too significant increase in social assistance and the statutory minimum wage could have significant adverse effects on the economy, government spending, and businesses’,” says BFB on Thursday. 

The BFB also points out the danger of a wage-price spiral resulting from these increases, where prices rise, and the purchasing power of both employees and businesses is under pressure. Additionally, a substantial increase in the SMW would worsen Bonaire’s competitive position compared to neighboring islands such as Curaçao and Aruba. 


Within the BFB, there is now a feeling that employers are being presented with the bill for addressing poverty issues. “The BFB has presented alternative proposals with the same goal, namely, creating a decent subsistence minimum for everyone, without the costs primarily falling on employers.” The BFB therefore calls for comprehensive research into the consequences of the proposed measures for local businesses, employment, and the economy. 


It is crucial that these consequences are fully assessed before final decisions are made. In addition, the BFB urges policymakers to engage in dialogue with the business sector and jointly find solutions that benefit both employees and businesses. The BFB emphasizes that the business sector is willing to constructively contribute to achieving a social minimum in Bonaire. The BFB states that it will continue to work for a healthy and prosperous economy on the island and will closely monitor the development of the proposed measures.

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