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New Monthly Minimum Wage in Venezuela Barely Enough to Buy Daily Cup of Coffee

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced a new increase in the minimum wage this year, but it’s only worth enough to purchase one a cup of coffee per day.

The new wage amounts to a daily income of 26,583 bolivars (US $0.26), which barely covers a coffee or a pie (20,000 bolivars US $0.2) at prices listed on December 31, 2017. Merely increasing the minimum wage won’t solve the economic problems facing Venezuela, which currently suffers from inflation of around 3,000 percent, as well as food and medicine shortages.

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An average salary in Venezuela is 248,510 bolivars (US $2.20). With additional food stamps of 549,000 bolivars (US $5.49), the salary is barely equivalent to eight dollars. The income situation in Venezuela is so poor that a person earning a minimum wage can only buy six percent of most basic goods, which exceeded 13 million bolivars (US $130) in November 2017.

Maduro’s country has the lowest minimum wage in all of Latin America, despite his recent minimum wage increase and the six previous salary increases in 2017. A report in El Universal found monthly earnings in Venezuela to be the lowest of any country and that Argentina has the highest minimum wage, at US $544.

Chile has the second highest salary in the region with $456, while Colombia has $265.

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In Venezuela, a family can’t eat properly with the current monthly salary. In December, the purchase of all basic needs cost $150.

The main Venezuelan employment association, Fedecámaras, said the minimum wage increase decreed by Maduro violates agreements that the country has with the International Labor Organization, because they were not consulted before making the decree.

“All minimum wage adjustments have to be consulted in a social dialogue, as well as with workers and employers,” said Fedecámaras President Carlos Larrazabal.

Larrazabal said the regime, “repeats the same mistakes of all the previous minimum wage increases where a decision is simply taken to try to correct the consequences of hyperinflation, but without taking into account the causes.”

Source: Panampost

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.