Many big businesses on Guam receive Qualifying Certificates (QC) which offers tax incentives for business investments that would strengthen and grow the economy. Unfortunately, our economy is at one of its weakest points due to the fact that many of those who receive QCs do not pay their employees a decent wage. Workers end up having two or three more jobs just to cover basic living costs! Bill 111, The Living Wage for Guam’s Families Act, proposes that workers employed by companies receiving tax incentives from the people of Guam, doing business with the people of Guam or leasing or renting property from the people of Guam must be paid a living wage of $13.40. This amount is what a worker should earn in order to afford a comfortable living on Guam. The poverty line on Guam is about $12.50 per hour so when the majority of the 11,660 public servants and 37,330 private sector workers make an average of $11.16 per hour, we use public money to subsidize their income through public assistance programs. This means we use public money to subsidize business profits instead of going towards education, healthcare, and public safety. By implementing a Living Wage, it will raise the wages for everyone else in the island. This will have a huge impact in Guam’s economy and it will improve the quality of life for everyone and not just the privileged few.

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