By Chrysostomos Tsoufis

Everything may have been put on ice, due to the tragedy of Tempi, but according to the law, Kostis Hatzidakis must submit his proposal – and he will do so in the next few hours – to the general secretariat of the prime minister for the minimum wage.

And when it is judged that the circumstances allow it – that is, it will not be considered that the government is trying to change the agenda -, the cabinet will be convened in order to decide on its amount.

In recent days, the scenario that predicts an increase of 8% to 9.4% – that is, an increase slightly larger than that received by pensioners has gained significant ground and currently gathers the overwhelming majority of the chances. This scenario leads to a minimum wage between €770-€780 which will come into effect on April Fool’s Day.

The scenario of an increase to €800 is much less likely.

In its analysis, the KEPE based on its data ERGANI estimates that workers paid the minimum wage number about 580,000, that is, almost 1/4 of workers in the private sector.

At the same time, however, the adjustment of the minimum wage also affects a series of allowances and benefits.

According to the basic scenario, it automatically adjusts and the unemployment allowance will rise from €438 today to €473-479.

Among other things, seasonal allowances, special maternity benefits, apprenticeship, internship and training program allowances, community benefit program fees and benefits due to suspension of work and termination of unemployment are being adjusted upwards, among others.

The final decision on the amount of the minimum wage is expected to be combined with a new reduction in contributions in order to mitigate the burden that SMEs will be asked to bear in particular. After all, it was also a request of almost all employers who were invited to submit their proposals in the context of the minimum wage determination process.

During its tenure, the government has already reduced contributions by 4.4 units against a pre-election promise of 5 units. The remaining 0.6 points could be reduced over the course of this year – perhaps from the second half? – as long as the fiscal space is found. In any case, however, it is considered certain that in its pre-election program, the ND will include the further reduction, even by 4 units, of the insurance contributions over a period of four years.