Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear editor: Gobar! How will raising minimum wage cause inflation, when it’s already here?!

Dear editor: Gobar! How will raising minimum wage cause inflation, when it’s already here?!

“The Minister of Tourism, Randall Mitchell, has said that increasing the minimum wage will cause inflation… This is a ton load of gobar.

“We are presently suffering from the highest inflation rate since the turn of the century. Is it caused by increasing the money supply? Or is it because we import nearly everything we use and are in fact suffering from imported inflation? […]”

The following Letter to the Editor, which rebuts Minister of Tourism Randall Mitchell self-declared “educated” reason for the government’s freeze on salaries, was submitted to Wired868 by Gerry Kangalee of Rambert Village:

Image: A satirical take on inflation.

The Minister of Tourism, Randall Mitchell, has said that increasing the minimum wage will cause inflation.

According to the Trinidad Guardian of 15/08/2022, “Mitchell stated that increasing the minimum wage would not necessarily translate to a better standard of living. He said while the move may be deemed necessary, it can force the current inflation levels to spiral.”

The newspaper goes on to quote him: “Where there are already inflationary pressures, where there is a lot of money chasing behind a limited number of goods, your policy is to increase the money supply.

“It sounds good to the person who wants a little raise in the minimum wage but of course, what we all know—the educated ones on this side, what we all know—is if you increase the money supply, you give a raise then the inflation will only get out of control, more and more and it is going to only cause hardships on the people of Trinidad and Tobago.”

Photo: Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell (left) at the opening of the Paramin Look-out on 16 February 2022.
(via Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts)

This is a ton load of gobar. We are presently suffering from the highest inflation rate since the turn of the century. Is it caused by increasing the money supply? Or is it because we import nearly everything we use and are in fact suffering from imported inflation?

At the very time when public sector, state enterprise and public utility wages have been frozen for eight years, inflation is skyrocketing. You don’t have to be one of the “educated ones” to be aware of this.

He goes on to insult us by talking about being one of the “educated ones” who can repeat clap trap from university text books that do not deal with social reality. Really, he is just making excuses for the assault on the standard of living that the government—the biggest employer in the country—has been inflicting on the poor and the working people as they seek to transfer income from the poor to the rich.

Image: A satirical take on minimum wage negotiations.

The minimum wage is TT$17.50 per hour. A sandwich loaf is TT$17.00. At [a salary of] over TT$40,000 per month, we know Mitchell’s bread is well buttered!

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  1. Don’t only heap blame on the government much of that must be apportioned to the unscrupulous business community and rampant corruption which is playing a key role in the havoc that is being wreaked on the poor of this country. I’ll advise that you listen to the contribution of Independent Senator Mr Welsh to the budget debate. That suggestion at best may result in some very short term benefits but what can we do to insulate our economy from these external shocks? Fighting down one another makes this task even more daunting.