By Gabriela Gorbea / Vice News
Mexico’s authorities have increased the country’s daily minimum wage for 2016 after a year of debate over its inability to cover even basic needs. The increase approved, however, amounts to enough for an extra half pound of tortillas.
The National Minimum Wage Commission announced the 4.2 percent increase late on Friday — taking the daily minimum to 73.04 pesos, or $4.30 dollars.
An estimated seven million Mexicans struggle to get by on the minimum wage that is among the lowest in Latin America and moved to the center of debate last year after Mexico City’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, began pushing for a significant hike.
At the time federal officials and the private sector spokesmen said this was impossible because the minimum wage is used as the base figure from which to calculate numerous other payments — such as fines or benefits. The national legislature changed this on October 22.
“Those three pesos can’t settle the historic debt we have with the people who earn the minimum wage,” Mancera told reporters, referring to the tiny increase.