Ideal minimum wage should have been BRL 6,754.33 in April

The ideal minimum wage in Brazil should have been R$ 6,754.33 in April, calculates Dieese (Inter-union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies). It is more than five times the current value of R$ 1,212.

According to Dieese, this would be the minimum payment to support a family of four in Brazil in February, considering housing, transportation, food, health, education, clothing, hygiene, leisure and social security expenses.

In the same month last year, it was necessary for the minimum wage to be R$ 5,330.69. Therefore, there was an increase of R$ 1,423.64.

Dieese’s calculations are based on the price of the most expensive basic food basket in the country, which in April was in São Paulo. In São Paulo, the basket costs R$ 803.99. So a person earning the minimum wage has to work 145 hours and 56 minutes — the equivalent of about 18 eight-hour workdays — to buy essentials in the city.

The department also reported that the value of the basic food basket increased in all capitals surveyed by the institute for the second consecutive month. The highest increases were in Campo Grande, Porto Alegre and Florianópolis, while the lowest was in João Pessoa.

Products such as soy oil, French bread and whole milk rose in all cities surveyed.

Loss of purchasing power

The Brazilian minimum wage was created in 1940, under the government of Getúlio Vargas. The objective was to enable families to buy the minimum amount of food and maintain other expenses, such as housing and transport.

Over the years, there may be a loss of purchasing power, due to inflation, which is not even replaced. Experts say the country’s economy limits the increases. Neither companies nor the government would be able to keep spending at a very high minimum wage, they said.

The preview of inflation in April registered a high of 1.73%, the biggest variation for the month since 1995, according to data from the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics). The transport group was the main responsible for this increase, driven mainly by the increase in the price of gasoline.

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