PM Browne responds to Chamber’s Minimum Wage claims

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he is appalled that after having participated and agreed to the $9.00 minimum wage, Yves Ephraim, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and its members are now seeking to undermine the process and encourage discontent.

Last week, the Chamber of Commerce issued a press statement, voicing concerns and “utmost displeasure” following a notice from the Ministry of Labour informing residents that it has ordered a Minimum Basic Wage of $9.00 per hour for employment effective 1st January 2023.

Ephraim said the timing and manner with which the announcement was made was questionable claiming that Steadroy Benjamin, the Minister responsible, in the Chambers’ opinion acted without regard for how such retroactive implementation on the eve of a payday would have stoked unnecessary tension between employers and employees, by giving the false impression that the affected employers might be deliberately failing to comply with the law.

But in a response Sunday, Browne said Ephraim served on the minimum wage committee, representing the Chamber of Commerce and he agreed and recommended $9.00 minimum wage to the Cabinet for adoption, to be implemented on Jan 1, 2023.

“The effective implementation date of Jan 1, 2023, was announced over a month ago.

Our UPP political opponents proposed $10:25 minimum wage, but Yves and his other Chamber of Commerce members sat silently without objection to the proposed unsustainable increase to $10.25,” Browne said.


“I am appalled that having participated and agreed to the $9.00 minimum wage, the Chamber president and its members are now seeking to undermine the process and to encourage discontent.  The simple solution to the late processing of the minimum wage order is to pay the staff retroactively the paltry $16, per employee for the month of January,” Browne added.

The Chamber said the Minister responsible should be aware that the effect of this increase in the Minimum Wage, represents a 9.75% increase in payroll cost for certain affected and struggling businesses whose payroll costs are already as high as 80% of income before this increase.


  1. Lead! #stop tearing down

    $16.00 multiply by 200 or even 50 employees tremendously affects the ability for small, medium and even large businesses with the ability to meet overhead costs and other operational needs.

  2. Mystic

    I would Recommend $11 min Wage
    Instant 5yrs period.
    Would Be Nice
    To Work Tiward a that goal


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