Vietnam to raise minimum wage 10 pct; still not enough to live on

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The Vietnamese government has estimated that raising the minimum wage by around 10 percent for state and office workers starting July 1 will cost the budget VND21,700 trillion (more than US$1 billion).

The minimum wage is set to be raised to VND1.15 million from VND1.05 million a month. It is used to set the salaries and official bonuses for employees of government offices and state-owned agencies including the military.

The Ministry of Interior has stated that city and provincial governments must cover the cost with savings from their regular activities and the increase in their revenues.

If needed, they can ask for help from the central government, it said.

Vietnam's labor and social affairs officials said at a meeting in April that Vietnam's minimum wage has not meet basic living standards for decades, estimating that a person living in Vietnam needs about VND2.4-3.7 million a month just to survive.

Van Thu Ha from the Vietnam office of the global charity Oxfam said many countries in the world use set criteria to establish a uniform minimum wage one that enables employees to afford necessities such as food, clothing, accommodation, healthcare, education, transportation, supporting aging parents and maintaining normal social lives, with some remaining for savings.

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