HAVANA TIMES – The Government of Venezuela has decreed a new increase in the minimum wage by 50 percent, from 300,000 to 450,000 bolivars per month (US $5.45), reported Europa Press.
The presidential decree specifies that the new minimum salary will be 250,000 bolivars and the Socialist voucher 200,000, totaling 450,000 bolivars. The last increase to try and protect workers from the hyperinflation took place in October.
Today unofficial sites quote the US dollar at 82,500 bolivars.
President Nicolas Maduro has raised the minimum wage 30 times since taking office in 2013, not to increase real worker purchasing power, but to try and mitigate the galloping inflation.
Since then, the country’s GDP fell by more than 50 percent, according to figures from the Central Bank of Venezuela. The unprecedented crisis that has led more than 4.5 million Venezuelans to leave the country, according to the International Organization for Migration and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The amount totals around 15% of the total population
The wage increase is well below that requested by the National Unitary Federation of Public Employees (Fedeunep), who proposed a 9.1 million bolivar minimum wage while the Bolivarian Federation of Workers (FBT), a trade union movement related to the Government, asked for 1.84 million bolivars, reported the newspaper ‘El Universal’.
In January 2019 Maduro quadrupled the minimum wage, which went from 4,500 to 18,000 bolivars to compensate for hyperinflation.
Venezuela is plunged into a deep economic, social and political crisis for which the government blames the sanctions of the United States, while the opposition, led by Juan Guaido, criticizes Maduro for disastrous management. Institutionally, the opposition considers the last and current presidential term of Maduro illegitimate and has proclaimed Guaido president “in charge.”