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Govt Adopts Bill Raising Minimum Wage

Ljubljana, 28 January (STA) - The government adopted legislation on Thursday that paves the path to the increase of the minimum wage from EUR 460 to EUR 562 net, a promise it made to the trade unions. The changes include a new minimum wage bill and changes to the personal income tax act.

The proposal, the first as part of broad structural changes planned by the government, will see the minimum wage set at EUR 734.15 gross, which comes out at EUR 562 net.

The net sum is equal to the minimum living costs as calculated by the Ministry of Labour, the Family and Social Affairs in 2009.

Companies facing difficulties will have up to two years to achieve the minimum wage. All companies will have to meet interim goals of EUR 520 net this year, EUR 530 next year, before achieving EUR 562 in 2012, Labour Ministry State Secretary Anja Kopac Mrak told the press after the cabinet's session.

The increase is being coupled with an increase in the special tax break for the lowest income earners, which means that the state will assume a part of the net increase.

In line with the proposed changes, the special tax break will rise from the current EUR 2,095 to EUR 3,020 and will apply for those earning less than EUR 10,200 a year, Finance Minister Franc Krizanic explained.

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