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!