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Grisha Balasanyan

Opposition MPs Blast Government's Minimum Wage Bill

Armenia’s opposition MPs continued to deride the government’s draft bill raising the monthly minimum wage by a scant 2,500 AMD to 35,000.

ARF MP Artzvik Minasyan stated that, “The Armenian government’s economic policy is neither based on international experience or common sense.”

MP Minasyan added that while international experience shows that wages must be raised to overcome the crisis so that demand can be spurred,Armenia’s government is suffocating demand. He concluded by biding “farewell” to such a government.

MP Galoust Sahakyan, from the ruling Republican Party, responded that the country would be better off if there wasn’t such a large shadow economy but that we have to make do with the situation at hand. He urged legislators to pass the bill despite the paltry rise, arguing it was better than nothing.

Heritage Party MP Zarouhie Postanjyan mocked the 35,000 AMD minimum wage as “demeaning” and said that 2,500 is the price of twelve loaves of bread. She also rejected government claims that the wage increase reflected the modest means of the national budget.

Prosperous Armenia Party MP Nayira Zohrabyan stated that while the government boasts of a 7% increase in economic growth it then argues that it can only increase wages by 2,500 AMD, implying that the official growth data are suspect.