Dear bills, “Italians will work 30 days to pay them”

The study of the European Confederation of Trade Unions

In most EU states, the average annual energy bill now exceeds a month’s salary for the lowest paid workers. This is what emerges from a study by the European Trade Union Confederation (Ces) based on July data in which it is emphasized that in 16 EU member states workers who earn a minimum wage must set aside the equivalent of a month’s salary to pay his energy bills. In 2021, it concerned only 8 Member States.

For about 9.5 million workers, the Ces observes, paying their energy bills is already difficult. Just think that in July of this year the prices of gas and electricity are increased by 38% in Europe as a whole compared to last year and continue to increase. In Italy the average annual energy bill currently stands at 2,071 euros and for a worker who earns € 24,849 will need to work 30 days to be able to pay it.

Ces asks executives “to act firmly to curb the rise in energy prices” in particular by increasing workers’ wages; putting a cap on energy bills and taxing the extra profits of companies operating in the energy sector; by allocating targeted aid to support the most vulnerable people and by preventing the disconnection of energy.

“When the bill represents over 1 month’s salary, there is no miracle recipe that could help you. These prices are simply not bearable for millions of citizens,” said Ester Lynch, CES assistant general secretary. “During this time, executives and shareholders of energy companies are making record profits,” she adds.

“It is immoral and there is a need for politicians to intervene before this crisis costs lives this winter. We need to raise wages, limit energy prices, tax extra profits and help the most vulnerable families,” he concludes.