Not enough to live on

THE minimum wage in Spain is too low to ensure a reasonable standard of living.

According to the Council of Europe the €648.60 a month around 200,000 workers have to scrape by on is simply insufficient for their needs.

Now it has called for the minimum to be raised, although the council has no power to ensure it is. The minimum wage was frozen in 2014, and this year has seen a 0.5 per cent increase of €3.30 a month.

The Council of Europe, an advisory body reporting to the European Commission, said in a report that was too low. Spanish unions have criticised the increase, saying that following the European Social Charter recommendations the minimum should be set at 60 per cent of the average wage.

In Spain that would be more than €900 a month, with average wages at €22,726, according to the National Statistics institute (INE).

Spain comes near the bottom of the minimum pay league in Western Europe. Only Portugal (€565.83) and Greece (€683.76) have set a lower minimum. In France it is €1,430.

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