Sant urges 5% increase in minimum wage across EU

The Labour MEP said that with corporations’ profits increasing and public debt levels being brought under control, it is workers that now need to get their share of ‘economic cake’

Labour MEP Alfred Sant said that in countries where a national minimum wage exists, it should be increased by 5%
Labour MEP Alfred Sant said that in countries where a national minimum wage exists, it should be increased by 5%

Labour MEP Alfred Sant has said he believes that in member states where a national minimum wage exists, it should be increased by at least 5%.

He was speaking during the debate: ‘Minimum income for a fair Europe: a right for citizens’, where he said that in the current favourable economic context, the minimum wage levels should be increased across the board.

The former Prime Minister said that Europe needed to push for the adoption of an EU wide national minimum wage that is adapted to the conditions of each member state.

“Private consumption has grown. Exports and investment have increased. Unemployment continues to fall and it has gotten closer to pre-crisis levels. Profits of corporations have increased. Public deficit and debt levels have been largely brought under control. Not so the share of the economic cake being enjoyed by the working and middle classes; there the deficit has continued to grow.” Sant said.

“In most cases where national minimum wage exists in Europe, it still falls short of what a living wage should be.”

Sant stressed that the divergences between the highest income earners and the lowest have continued to increase.

“This is not fair. At best, minimum income schemes play the role of safety nets for the most vulnerable workers and for individuals unable to guarantee an adequate standard of living through their own efforts.”

They are hardly doing so, he said, “the time has come for such schemes to go beyond this minimum”.

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