€1,239 per month: government proposes Catalan minimum wage
Spain is the only administration that can set a binding standard, now at €900 per month
The Catalan government has proposed setting the monthly minimum wage at 1,239 euros gross in 14 pays after a month-long process to estimate what the standard should be taking into account the cost of living and wage equity in Catalonia.
This monthly wage is 17,353 euros gross a year, which means 37,7% more than the current Spanish one.
The proposed minimum wage is not binding as the only administration that has the power to set a compulsory one is the central government. As of 2019, minimum wage is 900 euros net per month while the poverty line is set at 915 euros.
According to the Catalan cabinet, the Spanish minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) is "insufficient" and does not take into account the differences in the cost of living in different areas, leading to poverty where life is more expensive.
Catalonia's plan is to push business associations and trade unions to apply these standards when holding talks over collective bargaining agreements. The government has also committed to applying it in the public administration.
Businesses 'concerned' about proposal
After the proposal was announced on Thursday morning, business association PIMEC expressed "concern" since it could bring about "factors that hamper competitivity."
"One thing is 900 or 1,000 euros, and another one is talking about 1,300," said PIMEC president, Josep González. "We look the proposal of creating a Catalan standard with caution," he added.
González suggested that he would approve of raising the Spanish minimum wage to 1,000 euros, but not only in Catalonia.