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Spain to Pay Living Wage That May Cost EU3 Billion a Year

Source: Bloomberg - Fri 29th May 2020
Spain to Pay Living Wage That May Cost EU3 Billion a Year

Spain approved what it calls a living minimum wage for low-income households in a bid to help its working poor, a problem aggravated by the coronavirus crisis.

The subsidy is expected to reach 850,000 households - an estimated 2.3 million people in Spain - and cost the government EU3 billion annually, Social Security Minister Jose Luis Escriva said Friday in Madrid.

Spain’s coalition government, led by the Socialists with support from far-left Podemos, had already pledged to implement a living minimum wage before the coronavirus plunged Spain into a deep recession.

With the Spanish economy at risk of shrinking more than 12% this year, pushing the jobless rate close to 20%, that makes the measure all the more urgent, officials have said.

People will receive between EU462 and EU1,015 per month, depending on the number of family members. Government payments can supplement income earned by the recipient, creating an incentive to work, according to Deputy PM Pablo Iglesias.

That means if a person earns EU200 per month, the government would transfer EU26 to that person to ensure they reach the established monthly floor, the deputy PM said.

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