23% of Bulgarians Live below Poverty Line - Study

Society | October 22, 2012, Monday // 15:09|  views

Plamen Dimitrov, President of the Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria. Photo by BGNES

The monthly maintenance expenses for a four-member family in Bulgaria now total BGN 2 250, according to research of the Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria (KNSB).

At the end of September, the monthly maintenance amount for one family member was close to BGN 563, which includes expenses for housing and household bills, food, clothing, medical and education services, says the KNSB President, Plamen Dimitrov.

This is a nearly 6% increase, compared to 2011, and a 5% increase since the beginning of the year, or BGN 26 per member and BGN 104 per a four-member family. In September 2012, compared to September 2009, the increase of maintenance costs is nearly 18%.

The hike just from June 2012 to September 2012 is 2.8%.

Dimitrov says this data is not a surprise as the trade unions have warned on several occasions about the upcoming price shock over the trend of prices going up and price hikes for food and other goods, electricity, water, natural gas and heating.

He blasted the government for failing to establish mechanisms to counter these increases and for the continuous impoverishment of the nation.

Violeta Ivanova, expert from the KNSB Institute for Social and Syndicalist Studies, noted the poverty line, based on a consumer basket with 77 basic staples and services needed for physical survival, has reached BGN 214 per person, which is a quarterly increase of 4.2% and over 7% on annual basis.

According to labor union data, 23% of Bulgarian households or 1.66 million Bulgarians live below poverty line while another 50% have a monthly income of BGN 290 per household member.

Ivanova points out that Bulgarians are limiting even more expenses for food, education and healthcare.

KNSB demand meetings with all parliamentary represented parties and an emergency meeting of the Three-Way Council between the Cabinet, the trade unions and the business to discuss measures under Budget 2013.

Dimitrov further announced the Syndicate of Bulgarian Teachers is planning a national protest if they don't get the funds they are asking for in Budget 2013.

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Tags: Confederation of Independent Syndicates, KNSB, Plamen Dimitrov, president, monthly maintenance, households, food, fuel prices, electricity, water, education, healthcare, natural gas, basic staples, poverty line, three-way council, Budget 2013


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