Toomas Tamsar, the head of the Estonian Employers' Confederation, said the Social Democrat plan to increase the minimum gross monthly salary from 355 to 800 euros by 2019 is a populist election promise and not realistic.
Tamsar, who represents , the largest union of employers in the country. told uudised.err.ee that the figures unveiled by SDE have no basis, adding that a 20 to 25 percent annual increase in the minimum wage is not doable.
He said the question is not up to politicians to decide, as traditionally representatives of employers and employees agree on the annual increase, which according to current terms, is around 10 percent.
"If the economy develops in a good rhythm then that 10 percent is sensible. But if the economy fails to grow, then even that growth is dangerous to the economy,“ he said.
Tamsar said poverty is a problem in society in Estonia, but salary growth must be balanced, otherwise companies will find themselves uncompetitive.
According to figures unveiled by the Social Democrats today, the minimum salary should be 390 euros by the beginning of 2015, growing to 470 in 2016, 560 euros a year later, to 670 euros by 2018 and 800 euros in five years time.
If the current model of a 10 percent annual increase continues, the minimum gross monthly salary would be 390 at the beginning of next year, increasing to 430 euros (2016), 472 (2017), 520 (2018) and 570 euros by January 1, 2019.