Merida, 7th January 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Yesterday President Nicolas Maduro announced a new minimum wage increase of 10%, to be applied as of this month.
The measure would bring wages above inflation levels. Inflation in 2013 was 56.2%, while minimum wage increases last year totalled 45%, with 20% applied in May, 10% in September, and 10% in November. With January’s increase, the minimum wage has now increased by 59% between May 2013 and January 2014.
The increase “brings us above the criminal inflation brought about by the economic war”, Maduro said.
The minimum wage is now Bs 3,270, or Bs 4,408 when food tickets of Bs 1,138 are included. Venezuelans also benefit from free health, education, and other services, and workers can buy highly subsidised food through the Mercal Obrero program.
The minimum wage is the legal minimum for full time workers and for pension payments, including those paid by the government through the Amor Mayor Mission. 2.7 million Venezuelans are currently receiving old age pensions.
Maduro said the minimum wage will continue to increase this year, with the regular increase the government announces every 1 May.
He added that the government would continue combating inflation through “production, work, and... national and international investments”. He also called on the country to lower its “levels of consumerism and head towards rational consumption of all the goods, services, and products that are necessary for life”.