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Sunday 26.05.2019 | Name days: Varis, Eduards, Edvards
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Estonia raises minimum wage

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The minimum monthly wage in Estonia has been approved at the level of 540 euros, which is an increase from 500 euros.

Estonian public broadcaster ERR reports that the Estonian government made the decision on Thursday, December 13, to raise the minimum wage from January 1, 2019, which will also mean the gross minimum hourly wage to be raised from 2.97 to 3.21 euros.

Supported by the Estonian Trade Union Confederation and the Estonian Employers’ Confederation since September, the increase is expected be felt the most in the wallets of 25 500 full-time employees, who currently earn the minimum wage of 500 euros per month. According to data by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, they account by 5.3% of all paid employees.

The Estonian Finance Ministry expects the minimum wage hike by 40 euros to add additional 14.5 million euros in tax revenue to the state budget. At the same time, state and local government institution labour costs have been estimated to grow by 3.3 million euros.


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  1. Gavin R. Putland says:

    What would be better than raising the minimum wage by $X/week? A punitive “vacancy tax” on vacant land and unoccupied buildings, which property owners are so keen to avoid that it *reduces rents* by $X/week. Why would this be better? Because:
    (1) When you allow for income tax (and withdrawal of welfare, if applicable), a dollar *saved* is worth much more than a dollar *earned*.
    (2) By definition, the benefit of lower rents, unlike the benefit of higher wages, isn’t competed away in higher rents. Indeed, if landlords hear that wages have risen by $X/week, they might try to raise rents by the whole $X/week, not allowing for the Effective Marginal Tax Rate.
    (3) Nobody says lower rents would price workers out of a job! On the contrary, the scramble to avoid the vacancy tax would *create* jobs; and lower rents by themselves would create jobs, because jobs can’t exist unless (a) the employers can afford business accommodation, and (b) the employees can afford housing within reach of their jobs, on wages that the employers can pay. (Note the implication that the tax should apply to both commercial and residential property.)
    (4) Why should employers pay for a problem caused by deadbeat landowners?
    (5) The economic activity driven by a vacancy tax would broaden the bases of other taxes, allowing their rates to be reduced, so that the rest of us would pay less tax!

    Gavin R. Putland,
    grputland.tumblr.com .

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