Minimum wage increase in talks after inflation concerns, Abela reveals

Discussions are underway with social partners to facilitate a hike in the minimum wage, Prime Minister Robert Abela reveals • "Abela commits to lower medicine prices through revision 

Prime Minister Robert Abela
Prime Minister Robert Abela

Discussions are underway with social partners to facilitate a hike in the minimum wage, Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed on Sunday.

“No, I don't see the national minimum wage remaining the same. it must be increased," Abela said on party station ONE TV.

He said that his primary concern in this matter is the impact of inflation. 

He attributed the rise in living costs to a combination of factors, including the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, increased consumption in specific sectors, and ongoing global conflicts.

“As a country, we understand the significant challenge inflation is, and we cannot resolve it with short-term measures,” Abela said.

He stressed that inflation is a substantial challenge that should never be avoided.

“If we had ignored inflation, we would still be grappling with numerous ongoing issues, much like other countries are currently experiencing,” Abela added.

Training mandatory for foreign hospitality workers before employment, Abela says

Discussing "good quality tourism," one of the Maltese economic pillars as described by Abela, the Prime Minister touched on several key points, with a particular emphasis on connectivity and high-quality service within the hospitality industry.

“Quality does not come on its own, and with it, we aim to create an environment that attracts quality tourists,” Abela said.

Abela laid out the government's objective to shape Malta into a destination that offers a compelling product. Central to this vision is the training of all those employed in the hospitality industry. 

“We want to establish a Maltese product,” he said.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the presence of competent workers but also highlighted the need for improvement. 

"Previously, anyone could work, but now, foreigners, in particular, must come to Malta based on specific needs. In the hospitality sector, they will be required to undergo a course at the Institute of Tourism Studies, and those already employed in Malta seeking permit renewals must also complete a course."

Abela emphasised the need for training, without distinction based on nationality. A

“I don't differentiate between good quality service according to nationality. I believe it all depends on the training,” he said turning to private companies.

Abela stressed the responsibility of companies to train their employees, even in basic skills, irrespective of their nationality.