Alfred Sant proposes Europe-wide 5% rise in minimum wage

Labour MEP says proposal for 5% rise in minimun wage, which can only be adopted at Council level, would signal a reversal of European austerity policies

Labour MEP Alfred Sant
Labour MEP Alfred Sant

The Labour MEP Alfred Sant has proposed an EU-wide rise in minimum wage of 5% that could signal a reversal of European austerity policies.

In an exchange of views with Bulgarian finance minister Vladislav Goranov, whose country holds the EU presidency, Sant argued that for the next European elections to be successful, member states had to show they are committed fast to an improvement in the well-being of families and citizens across the EU.

Goranov, who presented the EU Presidency’s priorities for the economy and finance, did not react to the Maltese MEPs proposal.

Such a measure can only be adopted at Council level.

Sant argued that by taking this proposal across the board, it would equalise competitive pressures.

“It would also be more effective in helping to reach inflation targets than the monetary tools the ECB has been deploying these past years… The most recent assessment of the economic situation shows that the economic expansion in the EU as a whole and in the euro area continues, and has become increasingly broad-based across countries.

“Given this economic improvement, it no longer makes sense to use the arguments of austerity to deny to working and middle classes as well as to pensioners, an improvement in their purchasing power while applauding the increased profitability of corporations.”

Sant said wage growth would support aggregate demand, reduces inequalities and ensure high standards of living in the area.

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