Labor Minister: Share of Working Poor in Bulgaria at 7-8%
Bulgarian Labor Minister Hasan Ademov has said that the relative share of the working poor in Bulgaria has amounted to 7-8% over the past few years, following EU statistics.
Ademov participated Friday in an international conference on the working poor held under the aegis of the European Works Council.
The forum brings together trade unionists on political and expert level from Italy, France, Belgium, Hungary, Poland and Romania, as well as social partners from Bulgaria, including representatives of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB), the Economic and Social Council, the European Anti-poverty Network (EAPN), etc, according to reports of the BGNES news agency.
Ademov explained that Bulgaria had accepted the challenges of the Europe 2020 strategy and the goal of reducing the number of people exposed to risk of poverty by a total of 20 million people on an EU scale and by 260 000 in Bulgaria.
He argued that the most effective instrument to achieve the goal was the minimum wage.
Bulgaria's Minister of Labor and Social Policy noted that the minimum monthly wage had increased by 41% over the past 5 years, adding that it was scheduled to go up by a moderate BGN 40 a year over the next two years, thereby guaranteeing that the consumption of the workers with the lowest incomes, i.e. the ones forming the group of the working poor.
He underscored that Bulgaria's Ministry of Labor and Social Policy had been calling for the adoption of a methodology for the calculation of the minimum wage, adding that the idea had not been backed by employers, the Finance Ministry or social workers.
Ademov vowed that the Ministry would keep fighting to make the calculation of the minimum wage dependent on objective criteria such as labor productivity, average wage, line of poverty, etc.
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