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Venezuela’s Maduro Increases Minimum Wage to $130 Ahead of Vote

In World
May 02, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Venezuela will increase workers’ monthly income by 30% as Nicolás Maduro seeks to bolster support ahead of presidential elections in July.

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Maduro said workers will receive a monthly wage equivalent to $130 from a prior $100, during a speech commemorating the Labor Day holiday on Wednesday. That compares to monthly food costs of about $550 for a family of four.

“This raise will have an impact in workers’ economic capacity,” Maduro said from outside the presidential palace on Wednesday, where he called for marches in support for his government. “Little by little, we will recover workers’ income.”

Read More: Vanishing Venezuela Middle Class Priced Out as US Dollar Rises

The government marches took place as workers held separate gatherings across the country on Wednesday in protest for better wages. While Venezuela’s government moved to allow the dollar to be used across large swathes of the economy, many still struggle with stagnated salaries paid out in bolivars.

Maduro, who is seeking a third consecutive presidential term in July, has recently drawn international criticism following an increased wave of repression that has seen him jail and ban opponents from participating in the race.

Read More: Venezuela Boosts Minimum Wage by 43% to Quell Growing Protests

Venezuela last significantly raised the minimum wage in 2022, only adding food stamps or additional bonuses since.

While his administration has refrained from increasing wages to avoid inflationary risks, the move will likely impact public spending for the rest of the year, Síntesis Financiera said in a April 29 report.

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