The Malta Independent 23 October 2018, Tuesday

EU minimum wage levels should be increased by 5% - Alfred Sant

Friday, 12 October 2018, 09:15 Last update: about 11 days ago

Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that where the national minimum wage exists in EU countries, in the current favourable economic context, the minimum wage levels should be increased across the board by at least 5%. The Maltese MEP said that we need to push for the adoption of an EU wide national minimum wage adapted to the conditions of each Member State.  

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Sant intervened during the debate on the ‘Minimum income for a fair Europe: a right for citizens’.

“Private consumption has grown. Exports and investment have increased. Unemployment continues to fall and it has gotten closer to pre-crisis levels.  Profits of corporations have increased. Public deficit and debt levels have been largely brought under control. Not so the share of the economic cake being enjoyed by the working and middle classes; there the deficit has continued to grow. In most cases where a national minimum wage exists in Europe, it still falls short of what a living wage should be.”

The Maltese MEP said the divergences between the highest income earners and the lowest have continued to increase. This is not fair. At best, Minimum Income schemes play the role of safety nets for the most vulnerable workers and for individuals unable to guarantee an adequate standard of living through their own efforts. They are hardly doing so. The time has come however for such schemes to go beyond this minimum, Sant said.

 

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