Hike Beijing minimum wage to 1,600 yuan, advisor suggests

Updated: 2011-01-19 16:19

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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The minimum wage for workers in the capital should rise to about 1,600 yuan a month, advisors suggested during the ongoing legislative meeting.

According to the State's regulations, the minimum wage should be at least 40 percent of the local average wage, explained Hou Xiaoli, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Beijing committee.

In 2009, the average wage was 4,037 yuan a month. The social wage is the average wage paid in the city. Hou said the minimum wage has been lower than it should be for some time.

Two significant adjustments in 2010 raised it to 1,160 yuan a month. Hou said that still only makes it 28 percent of the average social wage.

"The minimum wage standard is the main measure to increase employees' income," Hou said. "Only one standard for the whole city is not enough."

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She said every industry in the capital should have its own minimum wage because employees who work in different industries earn different wages.

It is also a task of the local government to raise the minimum wage standard and employees' incomes during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).

However, some advisors did not agree that the minimum wage should be altered when the matter was discussed during the Fourth session of the 11th CPPCC Beijing committee, which ends today.

"The rise will bring heavy pressure to small- and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the service industry," said Li Shaohua, president of the Beijing Santi Management Company.

Hou Xiaoli, who used to be deputy president of the Beijing Federation of Trade Unions, suggested that the government could adjust business income taxes to give small- and medium-sized enterprises some flexibility to accept the rise of the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, the collective bargaining system was put forward as another way to raise employees' incomes and it is also being written into the government's plans for the coming five years.


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