19th April 2024
Pedro Sánchez in the Senate.
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Spain raises minimum wage by 8% for 2023, making it €15,120 gross a year

The Spanish government announced on Tuesday an 8% rise in the minimum wage for 2023, despite the opposition of employer groups, in a context of high inflation and a key election year. 

The announcement by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez comes just months before municipal polls in various regions and a general election which is due by the year’s end.

Before the announcement the minimum wage was at €1,000 (14 payments per year). The increase will be applied retroactively from 1 January. 

‘We’re going to approve a new 8% increase in the minimum wage to reach €1,080,’ gross across 14 months, Sánchez told the Senate, Spain’s upper house of parliament.

Spain traditionally makes salary payments in 14 monthly payments per year, with the extra paychecks typically paid in July and December.

‘We are respecting our commitment’ to raise the minimum wage ‘to 60% of the average Spanish salary,’ he said.

Split across 12 months, that would equate to a gross payment of €1,260 (€15,120 per year).

Although the unions had been pushing for €1,100 over 14 months, they hailed the announcement.

‘There will be some 2.5 million beneficiaries and it will have a greater impact on women, young people, those with temporary contracts or working in agriculture or the service sectors,’ tweeted CCOO union boss Unai Sordo.

Talks on raising the minimum wage were boycotted by employers groups on grounds their concerns were not being taken into account.

The new increase in the minimum wage comes against a backdrop of high inflation, even though price hikes have slowed significantly in recent months.

Inflation stood at 5.8% in January, after peaking at 10.8% in July, the highest level in 38 years.

The announcement comes ahead of a busy electoral year for Spain with various municipal polls in May and a general election by the year’s end, although no date has yet been set.

Sánchez was quick to flag his government’s efforts to raise the minimum wage since taking office in 2018.

‘We have raised it by 36%, that’s to say from €735 when we entered government to €1,080 gross over 14 months, and always in the face of staunch opposition,’ he said. He further tweeted that the increase was 47% in 4 years.

Yolanda Díaz, Spain’s Labour Minister, celebrated the agreement on Twitter, saying it was ‘a very important day for workers’ in Spain. 

The right-wing People’s Party (PP) left government in 2018 with a minimum salary of €735. From 1 September 2021, the minimum wage increased from €950 to €965 gross per month (14 installments) – €13,510 per year for a full-time job or €1,125 gross per month in 12 installments. 

It then rose to €1,000 per month (14 installments) from 1 January 2022, an increase of €35 per month to an annual full-time salary €14,000.   

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