The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

EU minimum wage directive: ‘We cannot have a one size fits all system’ – Anti-Poverty Forum

Saturday, 6 August 2022, 09:32 Last update: about 11 days ago

The Anti Poverty Forum Malta believes that when implementing the EU Adequate Minimum Wage directive, Malta should focus on the term ‘adequate’ as we cannot have a one size fits all system. What is adequate to a single person is not adequate to a person with children. 

To this extent APF Malta suggests that whilst a mechanism to have a basic adequate minimum wage is conducted, top-ups/wage supplements should be given by the Government, according to different family set-ups.

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Below are some points which the Forum thinks that should also be taken into consideration:

  1. The Directive focuses only on people in employment. The Anti-Poverty Forum Malta believes that we should also take into account sectors in our society that are not in employment and are struggling to make ends meet, such as pensioners. Malta should start working on an Adequate Minimum Income as opposed to Adequate Minimum Wage.

The mechanism that Malta adopts to establish an Adequate Minimum Income should address the different scenarios and realities of All.

  1. Malta should work to increase ordinary persons’ purchasing power. It is useless to increase the minimum wage if prices continue to rise. Government should scrupulously monitor and intervene if the market fails in essential sectors.

Some might argue that if the minimum wage increases, other salaries on higher scales need to increase in the same proportionality. This proportionality is inversely proportional to the ordinary person’s purchasing power. To this extent, this proportionality within jobs needs to be revised for the increase in the minimum wage to be sustainable.

  1. Direct assistance and schemes should be utilised to adequately support people on minimum income. Such schemes should address essential goods such as groceries and all medicinal products required.
  1. The Government should conduct a Reference Budget and hold the Household Budgetary Survey annually to have updated statistics, considering the inflation fluctuation rate. 

 

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