The Ombudsman Mario Decara announced the results of the latest analysis carried out by INEDEP, which consists of a comparison between the Minimum, Vital and Mobile Wages; and the cost of the Basic Food Basket (CBA) and the Total Basic Basket (CBT), to have a reference of the purchasing power of the average salary.
The CBA price calculated by INEDEP for a household of two adults and two children was $48,279.62 for August of the current year. The SMVM for that month was set at $47,850.00. In other words, it was not enough for that household to access the set of essential foods that save its members from malnutrition and indigence.
On the other hand, for this family group to be above the poverty line and to be able to cover other essential expenses, more than two SMVM were needed, since in August the price of the INEDEP Total Basic Basket was $108,629.14.
When comparing the SMVM with the cost of the CBA surveyed by INEDEP in August 2022, food exceeds the entire salary (100.90%). If non-food goods and services are also taken care of, in August 2022 the SMVM is further from covering said expenses. The CBT represents 227.02% of the SMVM. In other words, to cover the expenses of the household taken as a reference, more than two SMVMs are needed.
The SMVM’s increases in recent years have lagged behind increases in food prices and essential expenses, and it lags behind the costs of the CBA and CBT.
As an example, last August the increase established for the SMVM was $2,310.00 with respect to the previous month (SMVM July 2022: $45,540 ? SMVM August 2022: $47,850). In the same period, the CBA increased by $2,504.00 (July 2022 CBA: $45,775.62 ? August 2022 CBA: $48,279.62).