“It is not too fair that we leave those who need it most, not frozen, but with a loss of purchasing power.” With these words, the third vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, has defended the need to raise the minimum interprofessional wage this year, without waiting for 2022. At a press conference with the president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, the also Minister of Labor He recalled that prices have risen so far in 2021 much more than expected (2.7% in May, compared to 0.9% expected by the Economy) and that the SMI is “extended” waiting for The group of experts convened by the Executive will finalize its work to determine the “path” of this indicator for the legislature. His report is almost ready and will be made public “in the next few days.”
The CCOO and UGT unions mobilize in front of Calviño: “How long do we have to wait to raise the SMI?”
“The Government from minute one, with the president at the helm, has understood that the best income policy and to combat working poverty was to raise the SMI,” said Díaz. Pedro Sánchez already raised the indicator in 2019 after agreeing with Pablo Iglesias. In 2020 it also increased, already with United We Can within the Executive, to the current € 950 in 14 payments.
But in 2021 the economic vice president, Nadia Calviño, imposed her criteria and, after much tug of war, the “extension” of the SMI was determined. A formula that allowed the socialist party to say that the United Nations had not already risen. We can assure that there would be room throughout the year to resume negotiations.
The government agreement establishes that throughout the legislature the SMI will be within the margins indicated by the EU: 60% of the “average salary” of each country. The problem comes in determine what that “mean salary” is. This Thursday, the third vice president herself recognized the technical complexity of calculating it and recalled that the Government convened a “commission of top-level experts” whose work would already be completed or about to be completed, as advanced on Wednesday by the secretary of State of Employment, Joaquín Pérez Rey, and the leader of United We Can reiterated today.
“These days we will announce the path and the Government will determine the SMI for this year,” Diaz assured journalists in the Canary Islands. The bosses had shown contrary to establishing that “path”, that is, to leave in writing what the SMI will be this year, next year and in 2023.
The Minister of Labor has defended the rise of the SMI as a necessary policy for a government that wants to call itself “progressive.” Díaz recalled that “approximately one million people outside the agreement” have benefited from the latest increases, which has brought the indicator from 735.9 euros in 2018 to the current 950. Díaz has pointed out that the improvement in remuneration affects especially to people with less purchasing power, especially women and young people.
That purchasing power is the new argument that Yolanda Díaz uses to justify that the SMI rises in the remainder of 2021, without waiting for next year. The vice president recalled that the Government calculated a CPI of 0.9% for this year, but prices have skyrocketed and in May they rose 2.7%. “The agreements rise on average 1.5% and 1.8%,” said Díaz. “It is not too fair that we leave those who need it most, not frozen, but with a loss of purchasing power,” he concluded. To do this, it has the support of the unions majority. But who must convince is the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who will be the first person outside Labor to whom the document that has come out of the expert commission reaches him.