Center Party Envisions More Modest Minimum Wage Rise ({{commentsTotal}})

The Center Party's parliamentary faction leader Kadri Simson said the realistic minimum wage is 500 euros in 2017, not the Social Democrats' proposed 800 euros in 2019 - but reiterated that the wage must rise.

"Today's minimum wage does not guarantee full-time workers an income that covers winter household costs and maintaining their family," she told uudised.err.ee.

"When the wage was frozen at 278 euros from 2008 to 2011 and prices grew 20 percent in the same span, minimum wage purchasing power eroded significantly and it has not recovered," she added.

"But the rise slated for 2016 in the Social Democrats' plan is twice as high as the reality in recent years. Their planned hikes in 2017, 2018 and 2019 are reminiscent of pre-boom campaign promises."

The Social Democrats unveiled a plan this week for minimum wage to rise about 20 percent each year from the current 355 euros to 800 by the year 2019.