Caracas, February 21, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday a 70 percent hike in the value of state food vouchers in a bid to safeguard workers’ salaries against rising inflation.
The measure follows the announcement of a new tax unit for 2017, now equal to 300 bolivars, which is used to calculate the value of the food tickets.
Effective March 1, food tickets will be increased from 63,700 bolivars to 108,000 bolivars, bringing Venezuela's integrated national minimum wage to 148,000 bolivars - a combination of the food coupons and a cash salary.
Food voucher debit cards are a widely accepted form of currency in Venezuela that can be used for purchases in a variety of supermarkets, restaurants, and retail stores. Over 9.7 million Venezuelan workers reportedly benefit from the tickets, amounting to approximately 50% of the working age population (ages 15-65).
The move marks the second increase in the national minimum wage of 2017, following a 50 percent raise in January.