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Geneva To Introduce £3,500 A Month Coronavirus Living Wage

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Geneva To Introduce £3,500 A Month Coronavirus Living Wage

Geneva is set to bring in a £3,500 ($4,500) a month minimum wage after voters in the Swiss locality decided it was necessary amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The vote means that the minimum wage in the area will be just under £19.50 ($25) an hour - the highest in the world.

It will come into effect from 17 October following approval by 58 percent of voters in the region on Saturday.

The increase comes after reports of poverty in the Swiss city, which is one of the richest in the world, with people flocking to food banks as a result of coronavirus-linked financial struggles.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The new wage will mean that the annual minimum salary in the country will be 49,000 Swiss francs (£41,430).

Local unions and left wing parties proposed the new sum which was twice rejected by residents in 2011 and 2014.

Michel Charrat, president of the Groupement transfrontalier européen, told The Guardian: "Covid has shown that a certain section of the Swiss population cannot live in Geneva, 4,000 [Swiss francs] is the minimum to not fall below the poverty line and find yourself in a very difficult situation."

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The organisation - which supports people who live and work across the French-Swiss border - said the result of the vote is a 'mark of solidarity' with the lower paid people in the city and will help 30,000 low income workers - two-thirds of which are women.

Before the vote, Alexander Eniline of the Swiss Labour party (PST-POP) said: "The introduction of a minimum wage is a fundamental requirement of justice, and an essential measure against precariousness."

Credit: Samuel Borges Photography via Shutterstock
Credit: Samuel Borges Photography via Shutterstock

Geneva is said to be one of the world's most expensive cities, with Expatistan rating it the second - London in ninth.

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The city is also home to a huge amount of millionaires - they make up around 18 percent of the population.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the number of millionaires in Switzerland as a whole has risen by 13.9 percent from 2019 to 2020.

The country, which is often considered a tax haven, accommodates 438,000 millionaires.

The national living wage in the UK for workers over the age of 25 is £8.72 an hour, while younger people and apprentices range from £4.15 to £8.20 per hour.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Coronavirus

Amelia Ward
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