EspañolOn Tuesday, President Nicolás Maduro announced the Venezuelan government will raise the minimum wage by 30 percent on May 1 to “alleviate the effects of inflation.” According to the government, this measure is meant to encourage domestic production and combat the “economic war” being waged against Venezuela.
Before this announcement, unions had previously requested a wage increase of between 60 to 70 percent in order to cope with punishing price increases. The Central Bank of Venezuela has reported rampant inflation, 59.4 percent in 2013, one of the highest rates in the world. The loss of purchasing power, the fiscal deficit, and severe shortages of basic goods are the main problems in the Venezuelan economy, currently in its worst shape in decades.
The new minimum wage is set to climb to 4,252 bolivars, which amounts to roughly US$85 or US$675, depending on the official exchange rate used. This increase comes just months after the government raised the minimum wage by 10 percent in January.