Statia’s PLP happy with Minimum Wage Increase

The PLP faction in the Statia Island Council, (ltr): Clyde van Putten, Party Leader Rechelline Leerdam and Reuben Merkman.

ORANJESTAD- The Progressive Labour Party (PLP) of St. Eustatius says they welcomes the approval of the motion in the Dutch parliament that will see the increase the minimum wage in the overseas special municipalities, including St. Eustatius, as of January 1, 2022.

“This improvement in income for the lowest wage earners is timely considering the difficult economic times evidenced by heightened job insecurity, increasing prices for basic food items, utilities, and rents, and general social and economic anxieties; some of these caused by the enduring effects of the current pandemic”, according to a statement by the Party.

The PLP however also points out that the increase of the minimum wage is but a small part of the needed adjustments to the social safety net for our people. “We look forward in a few weeks when a motion is handled in the Second Chamber to adjust the welfare payments (onderstand) to seventy percent of the minimum wage and hope this too will be adopted”, states the PLP.

Social Minimum

The Labor Party also hopes that a social minimum for the islands can also be put in place as soon as possible. Another important item on the PLP’s wish list is an unemployment insurance in place that will give persons losing their jobs through no fault of their own continued income security so their lives are not catastrophically interrupted. Other items the PLP hopes for progress on are improvement of the child allowance, rent subsidy, child care subsidy, and also Disability benefit.

“Clearly we have a long way to go toward bringing social justice to the most vulnerable in our society, and we look forward to the continued support of the Second Chamber realizing this” according to the PLP.

The party says it thanks all the factions in the Second Chamber who supported this motion and we ask you to keep the pressure on for our people. “You were elected to serve Caribbean Netherlanders also and we are grateful for this small but significant victory””, says PLP in closing.

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