“Our intention is to next year continue with the dialogue regarding the increase of the minimum wage, and that there should be a significant increase,” the minister said in an interview broadcast by RTP3.

João Leão stressed that “there are sectors that have been very affected by the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic and there are “many workers” earning the minimum wage, currently €635, but the government believes that “there should be room” to increase the minimum wage.

Asked whether the increase in 2021 could be at the level of what was applied this year, of €35, the minister stressed, however, that “the world has changed” with the pandemic and that it will therefore be necessary to assess the situation of companies.

As for public administration salaries, João Leão said that in 2021 there would be a rise of over 2 percent in salaries due to the progression and recovery of the length of service of teachers and special careers.

On the evolution of the economy, João Leão considered in the third quarter that “there were signs of recovery” above expectations, but stressed that in relation to the level of unemployment, “the worst is not yet over”, estimating that this year the unemployment rate will be close to “9 or 10 percent”, and the estimates for 2021 are still “uncertain”.

Leão said that, particularly in July and August, there had been a recovery “slightly above expectations,” adding that IRS revenue in August, after sharp falls in previous months, had risen by 7 percent year on year.

Despite positive signs in the third quarter, the minister admitted it was possible “that the fourth quarter will not be as good” as predicted by the government.

Taking into account expenditure and revenues, the government maintains its forecast that the budget deficit should remain at 7 percent this year.

Asked about negotiations in parliament on the proposed state budget for 2021, the minister said that “they are going quite well,” believing that the budget proposal would be approved in parliament “with the same kind of support as in the previous five years”.