1 Feb 2006

Cook Islands government plays down potential rise in Cost of Living Allowance

5:09 pm on 1 February 2006

The Cook Islands government says it's not asked public sector workers to join a committee to review the yearly Cost of Living allowances.

The Workers' Association discussed the issue with the internal affairs minister, Ngamau Munukoa, last month, and they want to be part of a COLA review committee.

But the chief executive of the internal affairs ministry, Arthur Taripo, says the workers' association has jumped the gun and there's no agreement on who will be in the committee nor any timeframe.

The Worker's Association president, Anthony Turua, argues the labour force needs compensation for the effects of inflation.

"That has sort of handicapped the local people in terms of their purchasing power. So you can imagine if you're still on four dollars an hour to buy a tin of corned beef you basically can't afford a tin of corn beef these days as it costs about five dollars."

Mr Turua says he would like to see a cost of living adjustment of the same order of the last increase, which was between seven and eight per cent and paid in 1992.