The issue of rising wages of the lower classes and its delay has become a challenging issue for the Iranian government. The government has announced an increase in salaries of its employees by an average of ten percent next year, but the official meetings of the Supreme Labor Council on the issue of the 2022 wages have not yet begun, due to the regime’s critical financial situation.
The fundamental question is whether rising wages equal to the rate of inflation, even slightly higher than the official rate of inflation, can reduce the deep gap between income and the cost of living.
Hossein Gholami (trade union activist) gives a ‘negative’ answer to this question by performing a series of simple calculations.
He believes that increasing wages based on inflation will increase the gap between wages and the cost of living and impoverish the working class. The only solution is to match the wages with the living expenses or the household subsistence basket.
Even if we consider inflation as 50 percent and salary increase as 60 percent, the gap of eight million Tomans between the minimum wage and the subsistence basket will reach more than eleven million Tomans in the next year, because the main problem is the deep gap that has been created over the years.
Whenever wages rise slightly like this year, inflation pushes faster. Therefore, with a 60 percent increase in wages and pensions, the gap between wages and livelihoods will widen again.
With a 60 percent increase in salaries compared to this year, the salary deficit will increase by 3,600,000 Tomans. If salaries were equal to the cost level of 12 groups of consumer goods, i.e., food, medicine, clothing, education, etc., and above the poverty line, an increase in wages commensurate with inflation would work, but since wages are generally one-third to one-fifth of the poverty line, the extent of inflation means the expansion of class gap and conflicts.
Source: Iran Focus
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