Minimum wage increase triples inflation hike

The increase in the minimum wage in Malta is three times the rise in the cost of living – Eurofound

A report by the European Union agency Eurofound, the foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions, indicates that this year the minimum wage in Malta has gone up three times the increase in the cost of living.

The minimum wage in Malta rose by 10.8%, while the inflation rate was 3.7%. In contrast, in Germany there was a 3.4% increase in the minimum wage against an inflation of 3.8%. The same in France, where inflation was 4.1% but the minimum wage rose by only 3.4%.

In the euro area, only Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, and Ireland had a bigger percentage increase than that in Malta. In these countries except Ireland, however, the minimum wage is lower than in Malta. With the increase observed this year, the minimum wage in Malta has exceeded for the first time that in Greece and Lithuania and came very close to that in Portugal and Cyprus.

The increase in the minimum wage in Malta followed the signing of a new social pact between the social partners. This minimum wage agreement has been criticsed by the Opposition, with spokesperson Ivan J. Bartolo going on record describing the increase as a burden on businesses. The Opposition has been taking the same approach towards the social pact that came into force recently in a bid to guarantee the stability of the prices of essential food products. The Opposition is maintaining that the Government should not interfere and impose burdens on businesses.

Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Commission place Malta as the European country with the highest economic growth the EU.

Change in the minimum wage

 Croatia21.5%
Estonia13.1%
Latvia12.9%
Ireland12.4%
Malta10.8%
Lithuania10.0%
Greece9.4%
Portugal7.9%
Luxembourg7.7%
Slovakia7.1%
Netherlands6.9%
Cyprus6.4%
Spain5.0%
Slovenia4.2%
Germany3.4%
France3.4%
Belgium2.0%

Photo: Lukasz Radziejewski

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