The Time Is When!

The National Assembly on Tuesday this week discussed the 13th month salary issue, a topic that has captured the attention of workers in the private sector. After damaging reports in this newspaper and on social media that he was trying to kill off the 13th month salary proposal to protect his ‘big business’ friends and financial backers, Wavel Ramkalawan, the leader of the opposition tabled an emergency motion summoning the new Minister of Employment Wallace Cosgrow to come and give details to the Assembly about the impending Bill. During the discussions on the subject, it was abundantly clear that Wavel Ramkalawan and all opposition MNA’s who intervened in the debate were against the idea of the 13th month salary which they had previously claimed was their idea.

The high profile members of the opposition were all struggling to support the idea of a 13th month pay cheque which their supporters see as a big let-down.

In their deliberations, National Assembly members, Wavel Ramkalawan, Sandy Arrisol, Ahmed Afif, Jean Francois Ferrari and Bernard Georges all came across as being against this proposal. This did not go down well in their constituencies. Afif, Georges, Arrisol and Ferrari represent the four poorest districts. People in their districts were angry listening to their interventions. One man from Les Mamelles who voted for the opposition said, “I cannot believe that the people I voted for are more interested in helping the rich than helping the poor”.

MNA Ahmed Afif of Anse Etoile, who represents the poor sub-districts of La Gogue and Maldives, was also reluctant to give his support to the thirteenth month salary proposal. Afif alluded to the fact that this additional payment to private sector workers will have an impact on inflation. He believed that it will release too much additional cash in the economy. What Afif failed to understand is that the 13th month salary is not new money that will create inflation. It is simply a redistribution of existing money from the rich to the poor.

Many Seychellois workers are now asking a simple question; why is the LDS opposition protecting the rich at the expense of the poor? Ramkalawan, Ferrari, Georges, Afif and Arrisol have given the Seychellois people a glimpse of who they will look after when they come to power. It seems that the rich and powerful are in for a good time!

www.seychellesindependent.com



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