31 May 2006

Price rises prompt concern for Cooks population loss

1:16 pm on 31 May 2006

The President of the Cook Islands Workers Association, Anthony Turua, says the high cost of living could result in locals leaving the country.

The cost of power in the country has risen by 16 percent, and the cost of petrol and diesel by 11 cents a litre.

Mr Turua says the government has increased the minimum wage to 5 dollars an hour, and public servants have received a remuneration package, spread over a 3 year period.

He says there a lot of jobs available in the tourism sector, but he says wages are just not meeting the high cost of living.

"They've been forced to moved to New Zealand and Australia where there is a - I suppose the remuneration is better of - and to their advantage - in terms of meeting the daily operation expenses."

Anthony Turua says a submission over their concerns in the high cost of living will be presented to the government.