Minimum wage raise may be smaller than planned, says Lithuanian PM

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Monday that the national minimum wage will increase less than originally planned.

“There will be a change but probably less significant than expected early this year,” he told reporters on Monday. “[The minimum wage] is linked to the average wage” which is projected to fall, he added.

The Tripartite Council, uniting trade unions, business representatitivres, and the government, has agreed that the minimum wage should comprise between 45 and 50 percent of the average wage.

Currently, the minimum wage accounts for 47.5 percent of the average wage and amounts to 607 euros gross, or 437 euros after tax.

Lithuania’s Confederation of Trade Unions propose raising it to 655 euros, as previously agreed by the Tripartite Council. Meanwhile, the government and business representatives are calling to wait for the post-pandemic economic forecasts to be in place first.

Julita Varanauskienė, director of Lithuania’s social insurance fund Sodra, said last week that the total wages used in calculations of contributions to the fund would shrink by 0.8 percent this year.

Simonas Krėpšta, an advisor to President Gitanas Nausėda, previously said that the European Commission projected an 8 percent fall in wages in Lithuania this year, which would be the biggest decline across Europe.

The Tripartite Council opened discussions on Monday on raising the country’s minimum wage in 2021.


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