Workers have to work 5 days more than last year to pay their electricity bills

The European Trade Union Confederation has calculated the number of working days needed to pay annual energy bills in each EU country, based on prices and wages in July this year. This makes comparisons more relevant, as income disparities are taken into account.

For a worker earning the minimum wage, it takes 38 days in Spain to pay the annual bill. Therefore, he or she must work for more than a month to pay the electricity bill. In Portugal, 35 days is enough, and in Germany, 33.

But not all EU countries impose a minimum wage on their companies. Therefore, the European Trade Union Confederation has made the same calculation with the average wage. The result is that in Spain it takes 24 days of work to pay the electricity bill, while in France 20 days is enough.

However, European workers have to spend more and more days to pay the electricity bill. Spaniards have to work 5 days more than last year, while the Dutch and Greeks have to work ten days more and the Italians 9.

Faced with these figures, the ETUC’s deputy secretary general, Esther Lynch, said that “millions of workers were already struggling to pay their bills before the crisis and now they are being asked to pay skyrocketing energy prices, while wages are losing value every day”.

In contrast, “energy company executives and shareholders are reaping record profits at their expense,” Lynch adds.

The crisis is going to cost lives this winter, Lynch concludes. “It’s time to ensure fair wage increases, cap energy prices, tax excessive profits and help the poorest households.”

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