The Finance Minister of the Maldives announced a new pay structure and improved wages for staff at government-owned universities. The decision to increase wages was made in response to the government's commitment to improving the welfare of its employees.
During a press conference to announce the wage increase, a journalist from The Maldives Journal raised concerns about the cost of living in the country. The journalist noted that the cost of living in the Maldives has risen due to recent increases in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the government's printing of money. He asked the Finance Minister whether the new salary structure for university staff would result in a real wage increase.
However, the Finance Minister failed to provide a direct answer to the question and instead suggested that the journalist calculate the increase in real wages himself.
The government has increased the salaries of some university positions by 20-30%. However, with the cost of living in the Maldives rising at the same level, the real wage increase may not be significant. This has raised concerns among the public about the government's ability to address the issue of rising costs of living in the country.
The Maldives is known for its high cost of living, with the country relying heavily on imported goods and services. The recent increase in GST, coupled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has further exacerbated the situation.
Real wage is the wage rate adjusted for inflation or changes in the cost of living. It represents the purchasing power of an employee's income. On the other hand, nominal wage refers to the actual wage rate paid to an employee, without adjusting for inflation or changes in the cost of living.
For example, if a university professor earns 20,000 Rufiya a month, and the cost of living increases by 20%, then the professor's real wage decreases. If the professor's salary is then increased by MVR 10,000, the increase is in nominal wage, but it may not have a significant impact on the professor's real wage due to the increase in the cost of living.
In the case of the Maldives government's recent wage increase for university staff, the nominal wage increase may not translate into a significant increase in real wage for employees. The cost of living in the Maldives has risen in recent years, with the country relying heavily on imported goods and services.