KRALENDIJK- From January 1, 2022, a new, higher minimum wage will be in effect on the BES islands.
From now on, the minimum wage on Bonaire is 1045 dollars and 18 cents, assuming a 40-hour working week. On Saba, the new minimum wage is 1246 dollars and 24 cents for a 40-hour working week and on St. Eustatius 1265 dollars with 31 cents for a 40-hour working week.
Although the minimum wage on all three islands has been increased by 10%, the amounts are still below the minimum that Nibud, among others, calculated as the minimum necessary to be able to provide for one’s own living costs.
Due to relatively strong inflation over the past 12 months, averaging 4% across the three BES islands, employees earning the minimum wage will gain about 6% in purchasing power on balance.
Despite an enormous pile of reports and various studies, the Dutch government has so far proved unwilling to set an official amount as the so-called ‘social minimum’ on the islands.
The government in The Hague has previously said instead of working towards a higher minimum wage, it would rather work towards a lower cost of living. Institutions such as the Unkobon on Bonaire have already established several times that in practice very little comes of this.