MPs around Pellegrini Call for Minimum Wage Growth and 13th Pensions

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Parliamentary Vice-chair Peter Pellegrini (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 14 (TASR) – Defectors from the opposition Smer-SD party, who have formed a group around Peter Pellegrini, (Independent) have called on the current Government not to change the formula for calculating the minimum wage if the social partners fail to agree on it, and to find the money to pay out 13th pensions this year.

The Government promised to announce measures to support families, students and seriously disabled people on Wednesday (July 15). Nevertheless, Pellegrini claims that Igor Matovic’s (OLaNO) Cabinet plans to interfere with two key measures introduced by the previous government. One of them is the thirteenth pension. “Since the election we’ve heard plenty of excuses as to why this coalition doesn’t want or cannot meet this obligation vis-a-vis seniors. On Wednesday, we’ll probably learn that thirteenth pensions won’t be paid out as stipulated by the law this year and that they might be paid out in some other form, but these definitely won’t be full-fledged pensions,” claimed Pellegrini. Paradoxically, the Government will announce these changes after an amendment to the state budget law that envisages a higher deficit this year makes it through Parliament. “I understand this change with regards to developments in the economy and the crisis, but I’m pointing to the fact that Slovakia should end the year with a €12-billion deficit and will have to borrow almost €8 billion to cover it. So how is it that the Government is unable to find the €400 million needed to pay thirteenth pensions?” asked Pellegrini.

According to Pellegrini, the Government also wants to distort a temporary increase in the minimum wage that is based on a formula that is used if the social partners fail to agree. “The Government wants to scrap this formula and cut off bonuses for overtime, holidays and weekend work from it. The current governing coalition lacks any social feeling,” stated Pellegrini.

The MPs around Pellegrini, therefore, have called on the Government not to make these changes. “We’re calling on the government to find the €400 million and pay out a full-fledged 13th pension. At the same time, we’re calling on the Government not to start tomorrow with a legislative process aimed at changing the formula calculating the minimum wage,” said Pellegrini.