CARIBBEAN360 – President Nicolas Maduro says he has decided to increase the minimum monthly wage from 27,092 bolivars to 40,638 bolivars, the latter amount equivalent to about US$60 at the official exchange rate of 678 bolivars per US dollar.
Maduro made the announcement during his weekly television programme and said that while this 50 percent raise is the first for 2017, it is the fifth that he has ordered over the past 12 months, making a total annualized increase of 536 percent.
During that period the socialist country’s economic crisis has worsened and inflation, which stood at about 181 percent at the close of 2015, soared last year and is now believed to be the highest in the world.
In the televised announcement, Maduro said that the new minimum wage will also be received by all retirees in Venezuela, a total of more than three million people, according to government figures. The 50 percent hike will also be applied to the entire salary of public employees, the president said.
He also said that he will raise the value of the monthly food allowance, which currently stands at 63,720 bolivars, “in the coming days.”
From this month, when the pay hike is scheduled to take effect, millions of public and private sector workers will have the right to a total income of 104,358 bolivars per month, equivalent to US$154.