On Monday 22 March 2010 the Times of Malta reported: “Increasing the minimum wage would not necessarily address the social problems highlighted by Caritas, the Prime Minister said in his first reaction to a proposal made in connection with a call to redefine poverty.
"Assistance to needy families has to be given through other means," Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday after addressing party supporters at the Nationalist Party club in San Ġwann.
Gonzi went on to say: "Increasing the minimum wage does not necessarily address the different aspects mentioned by Mgr Victor Grech. We have realised that simply sending a cheque to people might not necessarily address the social problems associated with the individual."
In his speech Gonzi quoted EU statistics showing Malta ranked among the best in the EU for its social safety net. The minimum wage ranked the best in the EU when compared to the country's average wage, he added.”
What Gonzi said in March 2010 on the minimum wage shows how dishonest he has been in attacking Labour leader Joseph Muscat over the minimum wage.
The Labour Leader did not say that the PL in government would freeze the minimum wage. It is a vintage PN lie that Gonzi & Co cannot substantiate. The Labour party is acting responsibly. It would have been far easier for Dr. Muscat to say yes to everything by promising the moon and the stars but this is what distinguishes a future Labour government with an outdated GonziPN administration.
The policy of the Labour party regarding the minimum wage is clear. It will retain the same mechanism that has been in force for many years. In fact the minimum wage has not increased in the last 33 years and the only increases were subject to the annual COLA adjustment. This will remain unchanged under a Labour administration. The PL in government will change, for the better, the way of life of those earning the minimum wage. It will reduce the cost of commodities, the cost of utility bills and ensure economic growth. In Malta, it is estimated that about 6,300 persons out of a total workforce of around 157,000 are on a minimum wage. The Labour party will create meaningful employment, which will result in better wages.
Economists confirm the view of the PL. If one were to burden private enterprise with additional costs without giving businesses the right climate for expansion, the effect would be a negative one. Once the economy will be registering stability and growth, the PL in government would consider all scenarios. Lawrence Gonzi referred to the issue in an interview on Sunday. He said that the PN did not speak of a wage freeze at any time, but neither did Joseph Muscat and the PL. Gonzi side-tracked any remarks about the PN’s plans on the minimum wage but it would be no surprise if after all these years under PN governments without a minimum wage increase, GonziPN were to propose such an increase in the next budget, knowing that the budget will not be approved. Gonzi might well try to fool the people one more time.