Maduro hikes Venezuela’s minimum wage 60%, gives away homesStaff Writer | May 1, 2017
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hiked wages and handed out hundreds of free homes Sunday amid his efforts to counter a strengthening protest movement seeking his removal.
LatAm Mandatory food subsidies
It is small solace to workers who see the buying power of their earnings eroded by a sinking currency and the world’s highest inflation — forecast to accelerate to 2,000 percent next year, according to the International Monetary Fund.
With the latest wage increase and mandatory food subsidies, the minimum take home pay for millions of Venezuelans now stands at 200,000 bolivars a month — or less than $50 at the widely used black market rate.
“We’re here to take care of the workers, those who are most humble, and not the privileges of the oligarchs,” Maduro said.
In addition to the pay hike, he announced a special “economic war” bonus to retirees to make up for what he says are attempts by the opposition to sabotage the economy.
The president also watched as officials in several states handed over the keys to hundreds of new apartments, some built with Chinese funding, bringing to 1.6 million the number of public housing units built by a program started by the late President Hugo Chavez. ■