Updated | Finance Ministry refuses to confirm COLA increase for 2015

‘As is established procedure, COLA for 2015 will be approved during an MCESD meeting with social partners’ – Finance Ministry

Based on the cost of living adjustment formula and the practice used in previous years, the COLA increase for 2015 should be of 58c, according to the Chamber of Commerce.

But the Finance Ministry has refused to confirm or deny reports of the latest figure, arguing that this was a matter that would be first agreed upon with the MCESD members.

“As is established procedure, the Cost of Living Adjustment for 2015 will be approved during an MCESD meeting with the social partners prior to the Budget 2015,” a spokesperson for the ministry said when contacted by MaltaToday.

The ministry reiterated that the COLA is automatically set by a mechanism that has been agreed to by the social partners, namely, the trade unions, the employers' bodies and the government and endorsed by the MCESD.

Speculative reports in the media had first said that the COLA increase would be of €1.16 per week, the lowest since 2011. A second report published today reported that the COLA increase is set to be of €0.58 per week.

“Initially, the Malta Chamber, cautiously and purposely chose not to comment on the matter, especially because its own calculations differed significantly,” the Chamber of Commerce said, when the first report of a €1.16 increase emerged.

“Instead, the Malta Chamber wrote to the Chairman of the Retail Price Index Advisory Committee, urging him to officially and publicly deny the figure.”

According to the Malta Chamber based on the formula and the practice used in previous years, the COLA increase should stand at euro 0.58c. The Malta Chamber now called on Government to confirm this figure for 2015.

“The Malta Chamber however reiterates this figure is the result of a basic and outdated formula which in the interest of employers and employees alike should be fine-tuned to include measures for both inflation and productivity.”

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