Vice President of the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association, Vasco Bastian is voicing the concerns of petroleum retailers as the rise in minimum wage comes into effect.
Bastian said, “just recently the government increased our minimum wage from $210 to $260 across the board, across the country. so that definitely will have a major impact on the fuel industry but we want to work with government to ensure that we retain employment.”
Bastian went further outlining some of the challenges for retailers. “Gas station operators do not pay business license on net profit. Gas station operators in The Bahamas pay business license on gross turnover. So if you made $5 gross and your expenses and everything else have you in the -$2 you don’t pay business license on the -$2, you pay business license on the gross $5.”
According to Bastian consideration has been given to initiatives such as self service in order to combat the rise in operations costs. The association is also asking for talks with government on the issue as their profit margin has not been changed in decades.