Банкеръ Weekly



If salaries in the private sector keep outstripping those in the budget sphere, I can expect a growing exodus of clerks, Bozhidar Danev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, commented after trade-unions and employers settled the minimum insurance levels. They spread on 51 of a total of 73 economic activities. The private sector reached an agreement for a 14% increase of the levels on average, which will become valid from January 1. The average increase in the budget sphere will be 8% but will only be applied from July 1, 2007. It means that in an annual scale the increase in the budget sphere is 4% and the one in the private sector will be 10 points above it.
According to Danev, the negotiation results surpassed all expectations. The agreement shows that business is willing to pay more to those employed in the economy. It also refutes all accusations, according to which businessmen will use the 6% reduction of insurance payments to buy luxurious goods, he added. This is further evidence that the market mechanisms and economic levers work more efficiently than the state's administrative interference in regulating the labour price.
The average growth of insurance levels for the entire country is 12.6 per cent. It is the percentage by which the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy will increase administratively the levels in the economic activities which lack permanent agreements between the social partners.

The new insurance levels
The highest increase of minimum insurance levels was settled for applied experts and qualified workers. They will get 14% higher insurance compared to 2005. A 13% increase of the levels was settled for subsidiary staff and machines, equipment and transport vehicles operators, and a 12% one - for managers, analytic experts and staff occupied with services, security and trade. The smallest increase was settled for low-qualified workers and producers in agriculture, forestry and fishery - 10% and 8% respectively. The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce confirmed once again they would insist on another reduction of the insurance payments, because it was already clear that it resulted in a growth of salaries, insurance levels and budget revenues.

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