Minimum wage not consistent with Malta’s economic growth

Campaigners reiterate call for increase of minimum wage by 11% spread over three years

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Matthew Vella
14 February 2017, 10:56am
The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage has said Malta’s minimum wage remains inconsistent the island’s economic performance and growth

“There are countries which are experiencing slower economic growth or whose cost of living is at par with the cost of living in Malta, but which have a higher minimum wage. We reiterate our call to government to increase the minimum wage by 11% - spread over three years, through a 3.5% increase per year – to partly address this anomaly,” Michael Grech said.

Newly released Eurostat data on national minimum wages in the EU have shown that while the minimum wage in Malta is roughly midway between the highest and lowest, the change registered between 2014 and 2017 is one of the lowest in Europe, despite the country’s strong economic performance.

In ten countries, out of the 22 that have a national minimum wage, the amount amounted to less than €500 a month, while in 7 EU states, workers on the minimum take home more than €1,000 a month. Five states, of which Malta is one, have a minimum wage that lies in between €500 and €1000.

Malta’s minimum wage stands at €736 a month, with Luxembourg having the highest wage at €1999 and Bulgaria having the lowest at €236. Furthermore, Malta is one of the seven countries registering a minimum wage that is less than 50% of the country’s median income.

Several organisations and individuals are involved in the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage. The organisations participating in the Campaign are: Aditus Foundation, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Caritas, Forum Bormliż, Integra Foundation, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Humanist Association, Malta Microfinance, Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl, Millennium Chapel, Moviment Graffitti, Paulo Freire Institute, Peace Lab, The Critical Institute, Third World Group and Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.