The Maduro regime announced today that it was raising the minimum monthly wage to Bs. 300,000, split evenly between income and the cestaticket subsidy. The subsidy is akin to food stamps.
The income half of the minimum monthly salary was, until today’s increase, set at Bs. 40,000, while the value of the cestaticket had been set at Bs. 150,000. Taken together, today’s announcement represents an increase in the minimum monthly salary of approximately 361%, and is now equivalent to approximately $15 per month.
Economist Jose Toro Hardy lamented the increase, saying that as with all previous one it would do little but increase inflation and further devalue the Bolivar. For Hardy, increasing the minimum monthly salary as the Maduro regime does–by simply printing more money to give to workers–is insufficient to improve their standard of living. He said:
Of course we have to increase the workers’ real income. I’m talking about the real income, not the nominal income. You achieve nothing by simply increasing the amount of Bolivares that you pay [a worker] if that translates into another proportional increase of prices.
Hardy said that the Maduro regime’s failed monetary policy is the result of a combination of ignorance, “corruption, incompetence and dogmatism”, all of which add up to create “a tragedy that could lead to the rupture of the social fabric”.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido took to Twitter to also criticize the salary increase, pointing out that it would do little to help Venezuelans. He did this by sharing an image of a bag of powdered milk in a supermarket, priced at Bs. 192,0000, more than half of the new minimum monthly salary. Below, the tweet:
The usurpers in MIraflores [Presidential Palace] keep laughing in the face of the working People. They announce, while in hiding, another increase to the salary, more evidence of its economic failures, we have the lowest salary in the continent [sic].
Without showing his face, the usurper [Maduro] leaves it to others to make his sad announcement.
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