The Spanish government wants to push the minimum wage over 1,000 euros a month. | Archive

Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, has defended the Spanish government's proposal of an immediate increase in the minimum wage. This increase would be by 15 euros to 965 euros per month for the remainder of 2021, while the government also wants further 31 euros increases in both 2022 and 2023.

Speaking on Thursday at a press conference following the publication of the latest unemployment figures, Negueruela insisted that the increase would "not distort the labour market at all". The minimum wage is "a basic element for the distribution of income". "In the framework of significant growth like the one that there is, the recovery should be fair for everyone."

"Clearly, the minimum wage must increase and it must rise above 1,000 euros as soon as possible. When jobs are created and things are going well, wealth distribution has to be reflected in salaries."

The minister dismissed the suggestion that an increase will affect job creation. In the Balearics, he noted, a collective bargaining agreement for a three per cent increase in pay in the hotel and hospitality sectors this year has not affected the creation of jobs. Most workers in the Balearics are covered by agreements that are higher than the minimum wage.

Spain's employers confederation, the CEOE, has proposed that the increase should vary according to region. The secretary of state for employment and social Economy, Joaquín Pérez Rey, has rejected this proposal "as it would have devastating effects in terms of market unity".

The finance minister, María Jesús Montero, has also rejected the idea, expressing her confidence that the employers will finally support the increase "within the framework of social dialogue".