MEXICO.- The cost of the basic basket –– the set of basic foodstuffs sufficient for a person so survive on –– and other necessary services (which are considered luxuries in economic terms) such as education, transportation, and housing, are increasing at a rate that is disproportionate to income received by millions of Mexicans that must survive on the minimum wage. This is according to Miguel Barbosa Herta, a Senator for the progressive PRD party who also added that Mexico should establish a minimum daily salary of $549 pesos (about 41 dollars at the current exchange rate) in order to cover the reasonable cost of living.
This number is being proposed after an analysis conducted by the Minimum Wage Observatory determined that this would be the amount that would guarantee not just basic subsistence from a basic basket of goods (which consists of food) but also some “luxuries” such as car and house ownership.
Currently, minimum wage in Mexico is established at $63 pesos a day (less than $5 dollars a day at the current exchange rate), which ranks Mexico as the country with the lowest wage rate among 26 others analyzed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), according to data published by El Universal.
In 2011, the former Secretary of the Treasury, Ernesto Cordero, stated that Mexican families can pay down a mortgage, a line of credit on a car, and could even access private schools with a monthly income of 6,000 pesos (roughly $455 dollars), which is ten thousand pesos less than that recommended by Senator Barbosa, who proposes and income level of at least 16,444 pesos a month (around 1,245 dollars a month) and is requesting a debate be held on the topic of combatting poverty.