Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday hiked the minimum wage by 50 per cent in another hapless attempt to face a festering economic crisis teetering on hyperinflation. “To start the year, I have decided to raise salaries,” he said on his weekly broadcast. This is one of many increases over the last year.
With the hike, a Venezuelan worker will earn 40,683 bolívars a month. This is $60 a month at the weakest legal exchange rate, or roughly $12 a month at the black market exchange rate. That, alongside a hike in a mandatory food subsidy, brings the total minimum wage to 104,358 bolívares, or $31 at the unofficial rate.
According to calculations by Reuters, this means Mr Maduro has raised the minimum salary by a cumulative 322 percent since February 2016. But critics argue this will do nothing for impoverished Venezuelans to alleviate the dual perils of food shortages and galloping inflation forecast by the IMF to top four digits in 2017.