Minimum wage bill scrapped

Hwang, governing coalition face major setback after failed 1.000설/hr legislation

By National Political Correspondent Han Min-ji

HWAGANG: This afternoon, Prime Minister Sabrina Hwang has announced that a proposed bill that would have imposed a 1.000설/hr (£5.38 SCN as of July 15) minimum wage has been removed from the docket as it became clear in recent days that there was not enough legislative support to ensure its passage. Haesan is one of the few remaining nations in the IDU to not enforce a minimum wage, and as part of the governing coalition’s formation Hwang had promised New Bargain leadership that she would put forward legislation to try and change that. Those plans came to a screeching halt as she faced upwards of 60 deputies from both her own Moderate Party and Onwards Haesan! that voiced opposition to the planned legislation within the last 48 hours in what is one of the first major legislative failures of the new administration.

In recent years there has been increased support for a minimum wage, especially among students and southern manufacturing workers. 1.000설/hr has recently become the rallying point, since not only is it a clean denomination, but it is also around the current hourly wage for an entry-level services worker. Further bolstering the cause was a high profile study by economists at Suyang National University which found that already over 94% of Haesanites in the workforce earned more than the 1.000설/hr threshold. However, opponents feared that the imposition of a minimum wage would raise Haesan’s overall cost of living which is currently one of the most affordable amongst developed nations. Additionally, representatives of manufacturing workers were split over the issue, as some fear that a minimum wage could spur offshoring of some of the lower skill factory jobs remaining in Haesan to nations like Andhrapur and Huenya, especially in the symbolically important textiles industry. Those worries are compounded by the rapid appreciation of the seol with respect to other currencies like the Laeralian mark and Slokasian markon over the last two decades, which has made purchasing Haesanite goods abroad increasingly expensive.

Politically, this is the first real setback for PM Hwang, who has maintained a broad base of popular support, with a 64% approval rating after her first month in power. Despite balancing a somewhat unwieldy coalition, the government has passed broadly popular legislation on maritime conservation, improving the resources for Haesan’s diplomatic corps, and providing incentives for new research in pharmaceuticals. More controversial issues like Haesan’s accession to the World Assembly have been handled tactfully and those decisions are now generally well received. The economy has also picked up slightly as investor confidence has grown, and Haesan is now on track to exceed its 7% growth benchmark. With all of these positives going for the current administration, Hwang will surely be working to move on from this setback and reunify the coalition with more policy victories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.