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Minimum wage legislation bad news

Antigua Sun, 30 June 2000

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) An independent group of Bahamian lawyers, accountants, economists and business owners said yesterday the government's proposed Minimum Wages Act would create unemployment.

The Institute for Economic Freedom said in a statement published yesterday that the bill, which would set the minimum wage at US$1.90 an hour for the public sector and US$1.75 for private sector workers, was "genuinely bad news for the Bahamas." The Bahamian and US dollar are equal.

The group said that its 1999 survey of Bahamian employees in private sector businesses showed only 5 percent of respondents earned below the proposed minimum wage, with the majority working at gasoline stations, fast food and household retail stores.