Tevdovski: The Government’s main priority is the salary increase

The Government’s main priority is the salary increase and that is why we undertake series of measures in this regard, including the increase of the minimum wage but also establishment of a legal mechanism for its regular alignment, said North Macedonia’s Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski in an interview with Radio Free Europe. Finance Minister Tevdovski says the salary rise leads to increased productivity and employment.

“The Government’s main priority is the salary increase, because the living standard of majority of citizens, who do not have income from capital, depends on monthly salaries. Increase of the minimum wage contributes to the motion of the salary spiral, namely increase of the higher salaries. Another important aspect is that productivity has also increased, because a better-paid worker is a larger contributor,” notes Tevdovski.

According to Tevdovski, the law on the minimum salary sets in place a mechanism for its regular alignment, depending on the rise of the average salary, GDP and price hikes.

“The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has said that the minimum gross salary will rise by about Mden 600 (EUR 10) in April. We need to have discussions with employers because there is room for additional increase of the minimum salary,” added FM Tevdovski.

Regarding the GDP growth, the FinMin says the key is the broad-based aspect, meaning it is not owed to state intervention but occurring in a number of sectors.

“The private sector is now pulling the growth forward in several segments. For example, there is growth in the processing industry, services, trade, construction, household consumption. Foreign investments amounted to EUR 624,5 million in 2018, almost three times higher than the average of the past eight years. Drop in the unemployment rate is one of the most important indicators that the economy is moving in the right direction,” said FM Tevdovski.