Former Prime Minister and Maltese MEP Alfred Sant told the European Parliament that where the national minimum wage exists in EU countries, in the current favourable economic context, the minimum wage levels should be increased across the board by at least 5%. The Maltese MEP said that we need to push for the adoption of an EU wide national minimum wage adapted to the conditions of each Member State.
Dr Sant intervened during the debate on the ‘Minimum income for a fair Europe: a right for citizens’.
“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. In most cases where a national minimum wage exists in Europe, it still falls short of what a living wage should be.”
The Maltese MEP said 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. The time has come however for such schemes to go beyond this minimum.

Maltese Version – ALFRED SANT FAVUR ŻIEDA TA’ 5% TAL-PAGA MINIMA FL-UE

Alfred Sant qal li jeħtieġ naħdmu biex fuq livell Ewropew il-paga minima nazzjonali tkun aġġustata fl-UE biex tirrifletti l-kundizzjonijiet tal-pajjiżi nazzjonali. Fejn il-paga minima teżisti fi ħdan il-pajjiżi tal-UE, taħt il-kundizzjonijiet ekonomiċi favorevoli ta’ issa, il-paga minima nazzjonali għandha tiżdied b’tal-inqas 5%. Alfred Sant qal dan waqt id-dibattitu ‘Dħul Minimu għal Ewropa ġusta: dritt taċ-ċittadini’ fil-Parlament Ewropew.

“Il-konsum privat kiber. L-esportazzjoni u l-investiment kibru. Il-qgħad qed ikompli jonqos u qiegħed viċin il-livelli ta’ qabel il-kriżi monetarja. Il-profitti tal-korporazzjonijiet żdiedu. Id-defiċit pubbliku u l-livelli tad-dejn qegħdin taħt kontroll. Iżda it-tqassim ta’ dan it-titjib ekonomiku mhux qed jitqassam tajjeb biex jilħaq il-klassi tal-ħaddiem u l-klassi tan-nofs; hawnhekk id-defiċit qed ikompli jikber. F’ħafna mill-każijiet fejn il-paga minima nazzjonali teżisti fl-Ewropa, xorta hija ħafna aktar baxxa mill-paga li wieħed jeħtieġ biex jgħix.”

Alfred Sant qal li d-diverġenzi bejn dawk li jaqilgħu l-aktar u dawk li jaqilgħu l-inqas baqgħet tiżdied. Dan mhux ġust. Skemi ta’ Dħul Minimu jintużaw bħala appoġġ għal dawk il-ħaddiema u l-individwi l-aktar vulnerabbli li ma għandhomx garanzija ta’ livell ta’ għixien adegwat permezz ta’ ħidmiethom. Dawn l-iskemi bil-kemm qed jirnexxielhom jagħmluh dan. Wasal iż-żmien biex dawn l-iskemi imorru lil hinn minn dak li huwa minimu.