From: Exit Staff
Business Stakeholders: Minimum Wage Increase Not Enough to Fight Inflation

The increase in minimum wage put forward by the government in their second crisis package at the end of last week will not help mitigate inflation, say business representatives.

Prime Minister Edi Rama, Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku and Minister of Finance Delinda Ibrahimaj presented the new package of Social Resistance and measures that will be taken in the face of the energy crisis, including increasing the minimum wage from 32,000 ALL to 34,000 (EUR 289).

But the increase of 2000 ALL is deemed insufficient and will not benefit people and businesses but rather the state budget through social insurance payments.

“The mandatory salary increase by the government will serve the state budget more than the citizens themselves. At the same time, it does not help the business because it increases costs.  More money paid will limit the market’s ability to increase wages in the future,” said Alban Zusi, chairman of the Association of Manufacturers and Exporters.

Chairman of the Association of Bars and Restaurants Enri Jahaj said the increase is insufficient for people to meet their needs.

“A salary of 34 thousand leks is not enough for an employee to meet his needs, not to receive a treatment, a course to get more experience, because, with more experience and education, salaries continue to increase,” he told Monitor.

Zusi added it is necessary to invest in other areas of the economy, such as manufacturing, to replace imports and. increase the exports of local producers; this is because much of the price increases are due to Albania’s reliance on imports instead of producing many things locally.