Livable wage: Minimum wages as a poverty factor

In our country, the minimum wage is not enough to satisfy basic needs, much less to lead a dignified life. Who sets the amounts? Who earns the minimum and what would its increase imply? The first thing that is needed is to dismantle some myths about the effects of the adjustment that is so necessary to that salary.

For decades, the minimum wage has served as a unit of measure for the payment of fines, rights and credits from Infonavit, party financing and any other amount of prices that have nothing to do with the minimum payment for work.

On November 19, the Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved the constitutional reform that frees the minimum wage to be a “unit of measure”. During December, the local congresses would have completed the approval of this reform to give full effect. Whatever the decision adopted at the end of the year by the National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami), it is essential to recover the value of the minimum wage.

Based on the evidence from recent international data and experience, it should be clear that the first parameter to be considered in determining the minimum wage is the “poverty line” set by the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval). ) according to the cost of the basic basket (food and non-food) of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI). This parameter – the line that defines poverty – stood at almost 87 pesos per day in October 2015. That is the lower threshold to be overcome with the minimum wage for 2016 as a first step to recover its value.


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