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Low Salaries Fail To Support Basic Needs

In the Region, despite “the much-vaunted economic growth, the number of workers living on or below the poverty line is increasing.” States Ricardo Lume, who has highlighted the plight of those living and working in Funchal, “there are 17%, more than 22 thousand Madeirans, women and men who even though work eight or more hours a day, the salary they take home at the end of the month is not enough to meet the basic expenses of their family.” “But there are also thousands of workers who, despite having incomes above the poverty line, are losing comparison power and becoming impoverished,” he adds.

The leader of the PCP, Ricardo Lume, said at the end of the initiative that “we cannot continue in the Region with an economic model based on low wages.”

“It is not acceptable that workers who are the main creators of wealth in the Region are living on the edge of poverty or are becoming impoverished, including many micro and small entrepreneurs who are also in the same situation.”

Ricardo Lume denounced that “the current political framework of the Region is not responding to the problems of the people of Madeira and Porto Santo and that it is aggravating the policy of exploitation that pushes thousands of Madeirans into poverty and social exclusion.” He also argued that “it is fair, necessary, useful and urgent to ensure a fair distribution of wealth through the enhancement of wages.”

“It is fair, because what is left in profits for the very few, almost everyone lacks to respond to the needs of our lives; It is necessary to meet the cost of living, food, housing, transport, and communications; It is useful for boosting the economy and employment; There is an urgent regional emergency, in the face of growing injustices and the flight of hundreds of young people who are looking for a better life abroad.”

Ricardo Lume concluded by stating that “in the Region, it is necessary to create a widespread popular and social movement defending the valorisation of wages, which defines a salary increase of 15% for all workers, an increase that cannot be less than €150, as well as it is necessary to ensure that no worker in the Region earns a salary lower than €1000 by the end of 2024.”

Samantha Gannon

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