President Nicolas Maduro raises Venezuelan workers minimum wage by 50%

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President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has increased the minimum wage of Venezuelan workers by 50 percent — the fifth of such raise since February 2016.

As announced on the raise via state TV on Sunday, Maduro said it is “fair and necessary… to continue to protect jobs, stability, the right to work, to an income and to pensions”.

“To start the year, I have decided to raise salaries and pensions. In times of economic war and mafia attacks … we must protect employment and workers’ income,” said the socialist president.

“As the president of the republic, I am promoting dialogue, I am facilitating dialogue, I am married to [the idea of] national dialogue,” he added, signalling his readiness to dialogue with critics of his government.

Following the hike, minimum wage is expected to be 40,683 bolivars (£49, $60, N18,300) at the official exchange rate.

Report from TheCable stated that the raise is coming at a time when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the country’s inflation would hit four digits, to rise as much as 1,600 percent in 2017.

The opposition party says Maduro’s “utter management” of the economy has seen inflation skyrocket to over 500 percent in 2016, and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrink by 12 percent.

In 2015, the country’s inflation hit 181 percent but the government has since stopped releasing inflation and GDP figures.

Venezuela, with one of the world’s largest oil reserves, was heavily-hit by the crash in crude oil prices.

 

Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam

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