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Friday 26.05.2017 | Name days: Varis, Eduards, Edvards
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Latvian government fails to reach an agreement on minimum wage size for 2016

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUDuring a meeting of the National Council for Trilateral Cooperation on 26 August, Latvian government and its social partners agreed to continue discussions on the minimum wage size in the future. With that, no agreement has been reached on this matter yet.

Latvian Welfare Minister Uldis Augulis informed social partners about the minister’s offer – either maintain minimum wages on the current level or raise it to EUR 367 or EUR 375. However, he believes it would be best to leave wages either untouched or increased to EUR 367.

His voiced amount – EUR 367 – would be adequate to motivate employers to be more careful in their assessment of the work carried out by their employees to decide whether or not they deserve a raise.

After listening to the minister’s opinion, social partners stated that the minimum wage amount should be viewed from in the context of raising tax-free minimum and maintaining minimum wages on the current level would be appropriate if tax-free minimum is raised.

Economy Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola emphasized that the matter of minimum wages must not be viewed separately from the general tax policy. At the same time, she added that the size of minimum wages should not be increased by more than EUR 15. Healthcare Minister Guntars Belevics turned attention toward how an increase of minimum wages would require an additional EUR 7.1 million be provided to healthcare institutions from the state budget if wages are increased to EUR 367 next year, and EUR 14.5 million if wages are increased to EUR 375.

Having failed to reach an agreement, participants of the meeting agreed to continue discussing the matter during an extraordinary meeting on Monday.

Peteris Krigers, head of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, has said the matter of minimum wages should not be rushed – it requires serious discussions.

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