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New government reveals their plan to boost minimum wage

boost minimum wageThe new government has plans to raise minimum wages throughout Portugal, as new data reveals that the country continues to be one of the European Union countries where the national minimum wage is among the lowest, despite the updates of the last four years, which raised the minimum wage by almost 19 percent.

Among the 22 European countries which changed their minimum wage in 2019, Portugal ranked 12th, according to a study conducted by the Office of Strategy and Planning of the Ministry of Labour.

The minimum wage in Portugal has increased over the last four years from €505 back in 2016 to €600 in 2019, an increase of almost 19 percent. According to the study, Portugal is “among the countries with the lowest minimum wage in both the EU and the Eurozone” and “the recent increases in the minimum wage in Portugal do not change its relative position” in the European “ranking”.

According to a table included in the report Luxembourg is at the top, with a minimum wage of €2,071.10 a month, that is, almost three times the Portuguese.
Secondly, the United Kingdom has a minimum wage of €1,746.70. Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France are still in the top €1,500 bracket.

Portugal is still below Spain (€1,050), Slovenia (€886.60), Malta (€762) and even Greece (€758.30).

Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, has expressed her confidence that it will be possible to reach an agreement in social consultation on the evolution of the minimum wage for 2020.

“Our goal is to reach €750 by 2023 and by then we will have a discussion and debate year by year on what the minimum wage is each year,” she said.

But many argue that this still isn’t enough, and others that it is too much. Employers have called on the government to be realistic in their minimum wage targets. The president of the Employers Confederation CIP (Confederação Empresarial de Portugal), António Saraiva, questioned the government’s target for the minimum wage, and asked the executive to be realistic and give conditions for companies to be able to support the increase.

“We will listen to the government on what it has to say about the target that it has set and I hope it puts equal ambition in economic growth,” said António Saraiva, at the start of the Social Dialogue meeting, where partners will discuss the increase in the minimum wage for 2020.

“We have to be realistic, we have to give sustainability to companies,” he said.

The secretary-general of trade union CGTP, Arménio Carlos, pushes for the opposite, pointing out that the increase in the minimum wage in recent years has had positive effects on the economy and has once again demanded €850 as a target. Either way it seems that whatever the government do, some individual groups will disagree. Thus it is up to Costa’s promise of continued economic growth to successfully justify an increase in the national minimum wage to the naysayers.

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Comments  

+4 #1 Peter Booker 2019-11-09 10:21
Comparison with the minimum wage in other countries excites envy, and is irrelevant.

The relevant issue is the living standard within Portugal. For me, the prospect of living on €600 a month is horrifying; but I suppose that many families do live on that amount.

The €600 should be raised not merely through economic growth, but because there is a moral imperative to raise living standards.

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