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Venezuela hikes minimum wage by 50% as inflation soars

Venezuela's state-led economic system has been steadily collapsing since the fall of oil prices in 2014.

By: Reuters | Caracas |
August 13, 2016 7:22:28 am
venezuela, venezuela crisis, venezuela wage hike, inflation in venezuela, wage hike in venezuela, salary hike in venezuela, food coupons venezuela, venezuela oil, Nicolas Maduro, world news Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro informed the public through a televised broadcast that this is third minimum wage hike this year. (AP File Photo)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced a 50 per cent minimum wage hike that takes effect on September 1, amid triple-digit inflation that has severely weakened spending power in the crisis-stricken OPEC nation. Monthly minimum wage will rise to 22,577 bolivars, around $35 at the weaker of two official exchange rates but about $23 at the black market rate. Including meal tickets, it will rise to 65,056 bolivars.

“This is the third (minimum wage) hike this year,” Maduro said during a televised broadcast. Critics say repeated salary increases are woefully insufficient to offset inflation, which reached 181 per cent in 2015 according to official figures. The central bank has not published more up-to-date inflation figures, which opposition leaders say is meant to hide embarrassing economic data.

Venezuela’s state-led economic system has been steadily collapsing since the fall of oil prices in 2014. Opposition leaders say the situation will not improve without a change of government. Maduro insists he is the victim of an “economic war” led by his political adversaries. He also announced that a team of ministers are slated to visit oil producing countries to lobby for price increase ahead of an OPEC meeting scheduled in September. The team would include Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez and Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino.

With inputs from Express Web Desk.
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