Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley has sidestepped the question of whether he could live on $6 an hour as a review of that minimum wage is set to go before Cabinet soon. During a Friday press conference, Dr. Wheatley also declined to say whether he expects the rate to be raised despite Deputy Premier Lorna Smith stating recently that an increase is “likely.”

The minimum wage has been $6 an hour since 2016, but when pressed twice on the issue Dr. Wheatley did not say whether he could live on that amount.

“A lot of people could do things if they have to,” he said. “But I don’t think people should have to live below what is required for them to survive on. That’s exactly why we have to take a good look at the current level of the minimum wage and consider very carefully whether it should be raised or not.”

The hourly baseline salary in the United Kingdom rose to $14.65 for workers over the age of 21 in April.

Here, the government set up a special panel last November to probe the issue, and the reviewers have now delivered their report on the matter ahead of a looming Cabinet decision.

Stopping short of backing Ms. Smith’s comments that a hike is probably on the way, Dr. Wheatley said that inflationary considerations are also in the mix.

“I don’t want to pre-empt any potential decision by the Cabinet, so I will wait for the report to be presented,” he said. “I will study it very carefully, and then we will deliberate on the recommendation. Considering the implications as well —potential inflationary implications — it is something that has to be considered very carefully.”

The premier signalled that the Cabinet will consider the cost of living when deciding its next move.

“The current level is something that we have to look at very carefully,” he said. “We are concerned that persons may be struggling with the rate of pay against the cost of living here. It is something that we want to be driven by data.”


The 16-person committee created to consider the minimum wage was appointed from various sectors across society and held engagement initiatives with the public such as focus groups and surveys.

The move followed a 2022 investigation into social assistance in the territory by the Belgium-based Social Policy Research Institute, which found that the current rate was “well below” what is needed.

However, the institute also stated that any increase should take account of prevailing economic conditions.

Ms. Smith — who is also the minister of financial services, labour and trade — said in April that a minimum wage hike is “likely.”

The committee’s report is being considered by Ms. Smith’s ministry before being decided on by Cabinet.

Before the last increase in 2016, the minimum wage had remained at $4 since 1999.