Government used Budget to show minimum wage no longer adequate – Prime Minister

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called on unions and employers to present common proposal on the minimum wage, which the government had inidcated – in the 2017 budget presented last month – was no longer adequate

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
18 November 2016, 9:18pm
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government had used last month's budget speech to send a clear signal that the minimum wage was no longer adequate (Photo: DOI)
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the government had used last month's budget speech to send a clear signal that the minimum wage was no longer adequate (Photo: DOI)
Unions and employers should get together to agree on a common resolution on the minimum wage before presenting their proposal to the government, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat reiterated on Friday.

Muscat was addressing a national conference on the Employment and Industrial Relations Act, organised by the Ministry for Social Dialogue and the Employment and Industrial Relations Directorate.

He said that the government had used the 2017 budget to show that the minimum wage was no longer adequate and had decided to absorb the increase.

“We can send a very powerful signal to society as a whole,” he said. “We can lead to a social revolution.”

Muscat emphasised the need for better a regulation of employment legislation, based on today’s new realities.

He said the government would no longer accept a status quo, choosing change that avoids crisis rather than forcing change following a crisis.

Muscat said that the employment legislation should be more flexible and called on social partners and workers’ unions to keep in mind all workers and not only those they represented directly.

Social Dialogue Minister Helena Dalli said that improving conditions for workers in Malta remained one of the government’s top priorities.

“We want a law that reflects the government’s social conscience, but also that of the workers and the unions,” she said.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...