AD calls for an increase in the minimum wage
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Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said that it is once again proposing an increase in the minimum wage for the next budget, including for part-time and contractual workers. AD said that it is shameful that the PN -PL duopoly is opposing this proposal which will help improve workers’ standard of living in a time of austerity measures.
Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson and spokesperson for social and economic development said, “It is high time that Malta’s minimum wage is increased. It is more than evident that Malta’s minimum wage does not suffice to meet the cost of living. Besides, more and more workers are being involved in precarious low-paid and unsecure employment especially in contractual and part-time jobs. Many have to work more than one job to make ends meet, and the work-life balance is heavily tilted towards the former.”
“An increase in the minimum wage, including that for part-timers and contractual workers on a pro-rata basis would help improve the situation of the most vulnerable workers. It would also encourage more people to enter the formal labour market, making work pay. Of course, such an increase would have to be sufficient to cater for the realities of today, and this should not exclude a realistic assessment of social benefits, as some are abysmally low or even inexistent – given that certain vulnerable groups are being excluded from them.” Briguglio expressed disagreement with those who believe that an increase in the minimum wage will frighten investment. “If this is the case, how do countries with higher wages than Malta’s still attract investment Wages are just one (important) factor amongst others in the attraction of investment – other factors including, for example, productivity, bureaucracy, infrastructure, environmental considerations, fiscal incentives and so forth.”
“Unfortunately, those opposing an increase in the minimum wage include both the Nationalist and Labour Parties. To add insult to injury, Labour has come up with a vague living wage proposal which is devoid of clear commitment and is simply a voluntary tool. The living wage proposals transforms workers rights to charity by benevolent employers.”