The 77.7% increase to take effect May 1 will obviously not ease Venezuelans’ hardships
HAVANA TIMES – Venezuela’s minimum wage will increase 77.7% from May 1, International Workers Day, announced the government of Nicolas Maduro on Monday. The new salary will barely equal US $4.60 a month in a country hit by hyperinflation and a constant depreciation of the currency, reports AFP.
The minimum wage, which adds the basic salary and a mandatory food voucher, went from 450,000 to 800,000 bolivars per month ($4.60 at the official exchange rate), the Labor Minister, Eduardo Piñate, said in a statement that he disclosed on Twitter.
“As of May 1 it comes into force,” said the official.
The increase is the second of 2020, after three increases decreed by Maduro in 2019 and six in 2018, without recovering the purchasing power of Venezuelans, who suffer the worst crisis in the modern history of their country, with a declining economy with six straight years of recession.
Paradoxically, after the previous wage increase last January, the income was equivalent to $6.70. After the one in October 2019 it was at $15.00.
The situation has led to an informal dollarization of the economy, with the population trying to protect themselves against inflation and the continues loss of value of the Venezuelan Bolívar. The minimum wage, due to its virtually insignificant purchasing power, has been losing weight as a real reference in the private sector.
The new minimum monthly income is only enough to buy just over a kilo of beef.
Maduro blames the aggravation of the crisis on US sanctions. His adversaries attribute the disaster to erroneous economic policies and corruption.
Last week, the government announced new price controls for Venezuela’s main food producer, Empresas Polar, as well as other companies, a measure rejected by that company and business associations.