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Members of Parliament unhappy with revised wage

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The Parliamentary Committee on Social Welfare and Community Affairs has said it will continue lobbying for a revision of the minimum wage despite government’s consideration to increase the amount in the 2017/18 budget.

Committee Chairperson, exposing Richard Chimwendo Banda said, though government has raised the amount to K1,250 per day, the money is not enough considering high costs of living.

For the past few months, the committee and other concerned parties like Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) have been knocking on government’s door asking for an increase in the minimum wage.

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Currently, Malawians get a minimum wage of K687 per day and K19, 000 per month.

When presenting the 2017/18 budget, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, on Friday indicated that the minimum wage has been increased from K19, 000 to K25, 000 and that an appropriate amendment bill would be presented in the august House for approval.

But Chimwendo Banda, while applauding government for the decision, said the committee’s suggestion was to revise the wage bill to K1,500 and not K,1250 per day.

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“That amount is not enough because it has taken over three years before revising the minimum wage and currently the cost of living is very high. While I applaud the minister for that, I will plead with him to continuously look at it and revise it. Otherwise it’s going to continue hurting many Malawians,” he said.

Chimwendo Banda added that if government fails to provide a reasonable wage rate now, it will be difficult for foreign investors who offer various jobs to Malawians to revise their salary structures, thus exposing Malawians to harsh conditions.

He also said the committee would continue to fight for an increase until it is pegged at a reasonable rate.

“We will continue lobbying because there is room for an improvement. Others wanted K2,000, but we proposed K1,500 for a start, but there is a room for us to still talk about it,” he said

MCTU also recently courted President Peter Mutharika, asking for an increase of the minimum wage.

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