14 Mar 2003

Vanuatu teachers want minimum wage increase because of new tax

12:30 pm on 14 March 2003

Vanuatu's teachers union is calling for an increase in the minimum wage to offset the effects of the government's debit tax.

Its general secretary, Charles Carlo, says the debit tax will cause undue hardship among ni-Vanuatu people on the minimum wage which has not been increased since 1996.

The Teachers union along with NGOs are planning a protest march against the tax.

The debit tax is on bank transactions and Mr Carlo says it is no use the government taxing people who cannot afford to pay.

"The government has the right to impose tax but the government has to increase the minimum wage because the cost of living is high. The government should increase the minimum wage so people can pay tax, if there is no increase in wages how do you expect people to give the government money?"

Charles Carlo, General Secretary for Vanuatu's Teachers Union