António Costa told journalists that “I believe that there is a general consensus in Portuguese society that the general level of income must go up,” adding that the government has “done in part” with regard to the increase in the national minimum wage which came into force at the start of the year.
He noted that the minimum wage in Portugal already exceeds 60 percent of the average wage in the country but conceded that this is “not because minimum wages are high” but that instead because the average wage is “very low” which has contributed to the country “having difficulty in attracting talent” especially among younger generations.
“Companies have to do their part”, said the prime minister, when it comes to attracting talent by offering higher wages.
“Companies have to realise that, if they want to be more competitive in exporting, they have to be more competitive in hiring,” he said, stressing that “in matters of income the State has done its part”, referring to the executive’s efforts with regard to , for example, social passes or taxation under IRS and tax exemption for young people.