Bulgaria's Political Parties Set to Benefit from Raising Minimum WageFinance | June 10, 2011, Friday // 17:06| views
An unknown critic of Bulgaria's ruling party GERB has placed an inscription at a metro station in Sofia saying "Hunger - Guaranteed by GERB", an allusion to GERB's 2009 campaign slogan "Guaranteed by GERB." Photo by BGNES
Political parties in Bulgaria will receive higher state subsidies if the Borisov Cabinet fulfills its intention to raise the minimum monthly salary from BGN 240 to BGN 270.
If the government and Parliament raise the minimum wage as of July 1, 2011, this will automatically lead to higher state subsidies for political parties, the Bulgarian daily "Sega" points out in a report.
According to Bulgarian legislation, political parties with over 1% of the votes in the last parliamentary elections receive from the state budget a sum that equals 5% of the minimum wage per vote cast in their favor calculated on the amount of the minimum monthly wage as of September 30 of the previous year.
The paper points out that if the political parties will not get higher subsidies for 2012 if the minimum wage hike enters into force as of January 1, 2012, as major Bulgarian business associations have demanded.
But if the government carries out its intention to up the salary as of July 1, the ruling center-right party GERB will get a 2012 state subsidy of BGN 22.6 M, which would be BGN 2.5 M more than in 2011.
The total state subsidy for Bulgarian political parties in Bulgaria close to BGN 50 M.
According to Bulgarian PM Borisov, the government has to come up with BGN 20 M for the 2011 state budget in order to up the minimum wage by BGN 30 and to increase the lower retirement pensions.
Out of a total of 112 000 people official employed at a minimum wage, only 20 000 work for the state, while 92 000 are in the private sector, leading the business sector to warn that the increase expenditures will lead to shedding jobs and to an increase of the gray economy.
The increase of the minimum wage will lead to increases of a number of fees which are tied to it; for example, a visit to a general practitioner will cost BGN 2.7 instead of BGN 2.4 (1% of the minimum wage), while a day of hospital care will cost the patients BGN 5.4 instead of BGN 4.8 (2% of the minimum wage).
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