18 May 2015

Tax reform, instead of wage rise, the answer for American Samoa

6:41 am on 18 May 2015

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce says it may be pushing for tax reforms to benefit those struggling with the cost of living.

The east coast of Tutuila in American Samoa

The east coast of Tutuila in American Samoa Photo: AFP

The federally-mandated minimum wage in the territory is set to rise by 50 cents an hour in September, following a three year wage freeze.

The chair of the Chamber of Commerce, David Robinson, says for people at the lower end of the chain the rise in the cost of living makes it more difficult to make ends meet.

He says a wage rise however, could mean people lose their jobs.

Mr Robinson says tax reform is a more beneficial solution.

"So that the level of income is at a higher rate than it is now before the low income people have to start paying income tax. And that would be a far better proposition than even a 50 cent an hour pay-rise. If they have more disposable income, which they would have, they would benefit from that situation, and so would the local economy."

David Robinson says he will be discussing the proposal at the chamber of commerce general meeting in about a week.