Żieda fil-Paga Minima hi Kwistjoni ta’ Ġustizzja Soċjali |  Paga Minima Dicenti, Minimum Wage Malta.
12 Dec

Żieda fil-Paga Minima hi Kwistjoni ta’ Ġustizzja Soċjali

Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti tilqa’ l-fatt li qed issir diskussjoni dwar li tiżdied il-paga minima li involviet ekonomisti u msieħba soċjali waqt laqgħa tal-MCESD nhar l-Erbgħa, 14 ta’ Diċembru. Aħna nħossu li f’termini sostanzjali, l-argumenti li saru mill-ekonomisti ewlenin Gordon Cordina u Lino Briguglio, u minn oħrajn, ma jikkontradixxux l-argumenti u l-konklużjonijiet tagħna imma pjuttost isaħħuhom.

Il-Professuri Cordina u Briguglio wissew li żieda fil-paga minima ma tindirizzax il-kawzi tal-faqar estrem. Dan huwa punt li l-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti ilha ssostni minn mindu bdiet. Filfatt, aħna nħarsu lejn il-kwistjoni ta’ żieda fil-paga minima primarjament bħala kwistjoni ta’ ġustizzja soċjali iktar milli s-soluzzjoni għal kull problema soċjali, inkluż il-faqar. Bħal ma ntqal sew mill-Ministru għal-Libertajiet Ċivili Helena Dalli, jeħtieġ li l-gvern iniedi programm biex jappoġġa lil dawk l-aktar vulnerabbli u żieda fil-paga minima tkun biss miżura waħda. Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti iżda, tinnota b’sodisfazzjon li, hekk kif qal il-Professur Cordina, żieda fil-paga minima għandu jkollha impatt pożittiv fl-aħħar mill-aħħar (The Times of Malta, 14 ta’ Diċembru). Napprezzaw ukoll l-appoġġ tal-Professur Lino Briguglio biex tiżdied il-paga minima, kif ukoll is-suġġeriment tiegħu biex terġa tkun ikkalkulata il-paga bażika.

Il-kwistjoni tal-kompetitivita` ġiet ukoll diskussa, kif jixraq, waqt il-laqgħa. Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti diġa tat is-suġġerimenti tagħha biex ikunu mħarsa l-isteressi ta’ negozji li jistgħu ibagħtu minħabba ż-żieda li qed nipproponu. Aħna ssuġġerejna numru ta’ miżuri li jistgħu jiġu attwati mill-gvern biex jiżgura l-kompetittivita` u biex jiġu indirizzati ċerti effetti li tista’ tħalli din iż-żieda Madanakollu, aħna nafu wkoll li, bħal ma qal il-Professur Briguglio, meta ż-żieda proposta tkun modesta bħal ma hu l-każ tal-proposta tagħna, in ġenerali l-effett fuq l-ekonomija ikun pożittiv.

Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti tilqa’ wkoll il-proposta li saret u li ġiet appoġġata miż-żewġ professuri, biex jiġi mwaqqaf kumitat konsultattiv li jkun jaqa’ taħt l-MCESD bħala suġġeriment razzjonali u li jagħmel sens.

Il-Kampanja Paga Minima Diċenti tħoss li l-argumenti u l-konklużjonijiet tagħha ġew sostnuti u ikkonfermati b’dak li ingħad waqt din il-laqgħa.


Raising the minimum wage is an issue of social justice


The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage welcomes the discussion regarding a possible increase in the minimum wage that involved foremost economists and social partners during an MCESD meeting on Wednesday, the 14th of December. We feel that, in substantial terms, the arguments made by foremost economists Gordon Cordina and Lino Briguglio, and by others, do not contradict our arguments and conclusion, but rather reinforce them.

Professors Cordina and Briguglio have warned that raising the minimum wage will not attend to the causes of extreme poverty. This is something that the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage has sustained since its inception. In fact, we see the issue of an increase in the minimum wage as primarily an issue of social justice rather than the panacea for all social ills, including poverty. As rightly expressed by the Minister for Civil Liberties Helena Dalli, government should embark on a programme: “to support the most vulnerable and the minimum wage increase [is just] one such measure”. The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage, however, notes with satisfaction that, as attested by Prof. Cordina: “a minimum wage increase would have a significant positive impact after all.” (The Times of Malta, 14th December) We also appreciate Prof. Lino Briguglio’s support of an increase in the minimum wage, and his suggestion for a re-estimate of the base wage.

The issue of competitiveness was also rightfully raised during the meeting. The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage has already advised that with regards to safeguarding those businesses that might suffer from the proposed suggested increase, measures be enacted by government to safeguard competitiveness and address possible ill-effects. Yet, it also notes that, as stated by Prof. Briguglio, when the proposed increased is modest, as is the case with our proposal: “there is generally a beneficial effect’ to the economy”.

In addition, the Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage welcomes the advice, made and endorsed by the two professors, to establish a low wage advisory committee under the MCESD a rational and sensible suggestion.

The Campaign for a Decent Minimum Wage feels that its arguments and conclusions have been vindicated by the proceedings.


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