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Cost of living allowance for private sector employees?

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Given that both public and private sector employees face the same cost of living challenges, it makes no sense to deprive private sector employees of such allowances, says K Veeriah.

Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran has said the government would consider a review of the existing cost of living allowance paid to civil servants as it has not been revised since 2012.

The minister said this on the occasion of the signing of a collective agreement signing between the National Union of Bank Employees and the Malaysian Commercial Banks Association.

The Penang division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) welcomes a revision of the civil servants’ cost of living allowance, not forgetting a revision of their wages and related terms and conditions of employment. But it also urges the government to mandate a cost of living allowance to be paid to private sector employees.

Given that both public and private sector employees face the same cost of living factors, it makes no sense to exclude private sector employees from such payments. In fact, the MTUC has already made that demand ie for a cost of living allowance of RM300 to be made mandatory for private sector employees.

Back in the 1970s, the government had imposed a cost of living allowance to be paid by private sector employers when such payments were implemented for civil service employees.

We therefore believe that equity and good conscience dictate that a cost of living allowance be made payable to private sector employees as there can be no justification for excluding them.

K Veeriah is secretary of the Penang division of the MTUC.

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