The Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has announced an “immediate increase” in the country´s minimum wage, at a special conference in Madrid.
Speaking at the Casa de America in front of an audience of political, business and trade union leaders, he said that the measure would allow for the benefits of the growing economic recovery to be “fairer.”
Currently the minimum salary in Spain is 950 Euros per month split into 14 payments over the course of a year.
The Socialist led coalition government is committed to increasing the minimum salary to 60% of the average salary by 2023, which would take it to 1,100 Euros.
When the Socialist PSOE/Podermos government took office the minimum salary stood at 735 Euros.
The details of the rise have yet to be announced and which are still being negotiated with trade union and business leaders.
In his speech, Sánchez said that the priorities of his government are to combine the post-pandemic economic recovery with a reformist agenda to harness greater social justice.
“There won’t be an economic recovery if it isn’t a fair recovery, if it doesn’t reach all levels of society,” he concluded.
Sanchez hopes that all workers will benefit from the post-pandemic recovery – Spain is set to have the fastest economic growth in the Euro Zone in 2021 and 2022 with 6.5% and 7% respectively.
In addition the government hopes that the EU Recovery Package, of which Spain is the biggest beneficiary to the tune of 140 billion Euros in grants and soft loans, will give the government a unique opportunity to modernise the country´s economy.
The two black spots highlighted by the European Union for reform are the country´s labour market and pension provision.
The government expects Spain’s unemployment rate to be 15.2% by the end of 2021 but still remain above 13% by the end of 2022.
According to the latest figures, released today, September 2nd, unemployment fell by 82,583 people in August, bringing the total number of unemployed to 3,333,915 workers.
In addition there are still 277,905 people on the government´s ERTE furlough scheme, but this a fraction of the 3.5 million at the peak of the pandemic in 2020.