Minimum salary in Portugal can rise but only gradually says industry confederation
The President of the Portuguese Confederation of Industry (CIP) has accepted that the country’s minimum salary can rise from €600 to €700 in the new parliament that begins in the coming days.
However, António Saraiva stresses that salary increases should always to be pegged to Portugal’s growth and productivity.
And he adds that any increases should be done “gradually and not abruptly” adding that Portugal needs to look to the example of other countries which have grown 4%.
According to IMF projections, Portugal’s estimate growth for 2020 could be as high as 1.9% — above the European Union average.
Since 2009 minimum salaries have steadily grown from around €460 per month after tax to €600 a month this year although wage increases were largely frozen, particularly in the public sector, during the economic crisis years between 2011 and 2014.
At a conference in Estoril this week, Saraiva said it was “perfectly reasonable” to see a rise in the national minimum salary from €600 to €700.
And those wage increases form part of a raft of social measures that the PS socialist Government is negotiating with unions, opposition parties on the left and industry leaders after winning the General Election earlier this month.
However, Saraiva pointed out that some companies who have the conditions to do so could pay better than minimum wages as is now sometimes the case.
But he warns that in order to have higher salaries to counter inequalities there needs to be more growth in the Portuguese economy. Saraiva says that Portugal should not limit itself to looking at the European average but rather to those countries that are growing at around 4% such as Ireland, Hungary and Poland.