Żieda fil-paga minima hija att ta’ ġustizzja soċjali |  Paga Minima Dicenti, Minimum Wage Malta.
29 Oct

Żieda fil-paga minima hija att ta’ ġustizzja soċjali

Illum bosta organizzazzjonijiet u individwi qed iniedu l-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti. L-organizzazzjonijiet li qed jipparteċipaw fil-Kampanja huma: Aditus Foundation, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Caritas, Forum Bormliż, Integra Foundation, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Humanist Association, Malta Microfinance, Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl, Millennium Chapel, Moviment Graffitti, Paulo Freire Institute, Peace Lab, The Critical Institute, Third World Group and Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

Il-proposta ewlenija li qed tiġi mressqa mill-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti hi li l-paga minima għandha tiżdied bi 3.5% għal tliet snin konsekuttivi, minbarra ż-żieda tal-COLA. Aħna nemmnu bis-sħiħ li tiżdied il-paga minima hija att ta’ ġustizzja soċjali li se twassal għal distribuzzjoni aktar ġusta tal-ġid u r-riżorsi. Huwa dritt bażiku tal-ħaddiem li jitħallas paga diċenti għall-ħidma tiegħu/tagħha. 

Bħalissa l-paga minima għal persuni li għandhom ‘il fuq minn 18-il sena hi dik ta’ € 4.20 fis-siegħa, li minnha mbagħad titnaqqas il-bolla. Hu ċar li dan mhux biżżejjed biex il-familji tal-ħaddiema mħallsa l-aktar pagi baxxi jixtru l-bżonnijiet bażiċi tagħhom, speċjalment meta wieħed iqis l-għoli tal-ħajja dejjem jikber, bħall-kera u l-ikel, kif muri biċ-ċar mir-rapport tal-Caritas. 

Skont l-ekonomista Karm Farrugia, id-data ekonometriċi relatati mal-prestazzjoni ekonomika ta' Malta jissuġġerixxu li, minħabba l-prestazzjoni pożittiva fl-aħħar ftit snin, l-ekonomija tagħna tiflaħ żieda ta' 10% sa 12% fil-paga minima. B’din iż-żieda, il-paga minima tippermetti lill-ħaddiema b’dipendenti biex jilħqu l-bżonnijiet bażiċi tagħhom. Din iż-żieda tista’ tiġi mifruxa fuq tliet snin biex ma jkunx hemm ħasda lill-ekonomija. Reviżjonijiet regolari dwar ir-rata tal-paga minima għandhom isiru obbligatorji sabiex ikun żgurat li din tilħaq l-ammont neċessarju għal għixien dinjituż. (ara d-dokument mehmuż għall-argumenti kollha dwar l-aspetti soċjali u ekonomiċi marbuta ma' l-għoli tal-paga minima)

Aħna nemmnu li ż-żieda fil-paga minima tkun ta’ benefiċċju kemm għall-ħaddiema kif ukoll għall-ekonomija. Ir-riskju li l-impjiegi se jintilfu bħala riżultat ta’ din il-miżura hu minimu. Is-sorsi ewlenin ta’ investiment barrani m’humiex miġbudin lejn Malta minħabba remunerazzjoni baxxa, u l-industriji tal-kostruzzjoni u t-turiżmu m’humiex se jmorru x'imkien ieħor jekk il-pagi jiżdiedu. Rigward l-industrija tal-manifattura, il-gvern jista’ jikkunsidra inċentivi fiskali, u oħrajn, li jikkumpensaw għall-effetti possibbli li żieda fil-paga minima jista' jkollha fuq l-attrazzjoni ta’ Malta għal dawn l-industriji. Dan jgħodd ukoll għan-negozji ż-żgħar li jistgħu jiġu affettwati b’din iż-żieda. Żieda fil-paga minima:

  • twassal għal żieda ġenerali fil-pagi, speċjalment f’dawk bi dħul aktar baxx. Dan hu effett pożittiv peressli l-pagi f'Malta huma ġeneralment baxxi.
  • tinċentiva lin-nies biex jaħdmu
  • tnaqqas it-tibdil tal-ħaddiem u ttejjeb il-produttività
  • għandha effett pożittiv ta’ multiplikazzjoni, peress li jiżdied l-infieq, u b'hekk twassal għal ċirkulazzjoni akbar tal-flus fl-ekonomija

Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti temmen li huwa r-rwol tal-Gvern biex jiżgura li l-paga minima hija waħda diċenti. Deċiżjoni dwar id-dritt tal-ħaddiema għal ħajja diċenti ma tistax tistrieħ fuq ftehim bejn l-imsieħba soċjali, ghax hekk tirriskja li din tiġi rrifjutata minn ftit gruppi li jkunu qed iħarsu biss lejn l-interessi egoistiċi u immedjati tagħhom.

L-organizzazzjonijiet u l-individwi involuti fil-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti se jorganizzaw attivitajiet ta’ informazzjoni, diskussjonijiet, laqgħat u inizjattivi oħra marbuta ma' dan is-suġġett fix-xhur li ġejjin. Aħna nistiednu lill-organizzazzjonijiet u l-individwi kollha li jemmnu fil-ġustizzja soċjali sabiex jingħaqdu magħna f’din il-Kampanja.


Raising the minimum wage is an act of social justice


Today several organisations and individuals are launching the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage. The organisations participating in the Campaign are: Aditus Foundation, Alleanza Kontra l-Faqar, Caritas, Forum Bormliż, Integra Foundation, Koperattiva Kummerċ Ġust, Malta Humanist Association, Malta Microfinance, Mid-Dlam għad-Dawl, Millennium Chapel, Moviment Graffitti, Paulo Freire Institute, Peace Lab, The Critical Institute, Third World Group and Żminijietna - Voice of the Left.

The main proposal being put forward by the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage is that the minimum wage should increase by 3.5% for three consecutive years, in addition to the COLA increase. We strongly believe that increasing the minimum wage is an act of social justice which will lead to a fairer distribution of wealth and resources. It is a worker’s basic right to be paid decently for his/her work. 

Currently, the minimum wage for people over 18 years of age is set at €4.20 per hour, from which national insurance is subsequently deducted. This is clearly not enough to allow the families of the lowest paid workers to meet their basic needs, especially considering the ever increasing cost of living such as rent and food, as clearly evidenced by the Caritas “basket of goods” report. 

According to the economist Karm Farrugia, econometric data related to Malta’s economic performances suggest that, given the positive performance in the past few years, our economy can sustain a 10 to 12% increase in the minimum wage. With this increase, the minimum wage enables workers with dependents to meet their basic needs. To prevent tremors, this increase could be spread over three years. A regular review of the minimum wage rate should be made mandatory to ensure that it meets the amount required for a dignified living. (see attached document for full overview of the economic and social aspects of raising the minimum wage)

 We believe that raising the minimum wage will be beneficial to workers as well as the economy as a whole. There is minimal risk that jobs will be lost as a result of this measure. The main sources of foreign investment are not attracted to Malta by the low remuneration, and the construction and tourism industry will not move elsewhere if wages are increased. With regards to the manufacturing industry, government might consider fiscal and other incentives that would offset possible effects that a minimum wage increase may have on the attractiveness of Malta to such industries. This applies also to small businesses that might be affected by the increase. An increase in the minimum wage will:

  • lead to a general increase in wages, especially in the lower-income brackets. The latter would have an overall positive effect, since wages in Malta are generally low.
  • incentive's people to work.
  • decrease worker turnover and enhance productivity.
  • have a positive domino-multiplier effect, since it will result in increased spending, thus leading to a greater circulation of money in the economy

The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage believes that it is the Government’s role to ensure that the minimum wage is a decent one. A decision about the right of workers for a decent life cannot rest on an agreement among the social partners, as it risks being vetoed by few groups on the basis of their narrow and short-term interests.  

The organisations and individuals involved in the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage will be holding awareness-raising events, discussions, meetings and other initiatives related to this subject in the coming months. We invite all organisations and individuals who believe in social justice to join the Campaign. 

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