Q3 Monthly Cost of Living of Four-Member Household Stands at Lv 2,472 - Trade Union
November 18 (BTA) - A four-member household (two adults and two children) needs 2,472 leva a month or 618.15 leva per member, according to third-quarter data released by the Institute for Social and Trade Union Research of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB). The cost of living covers expenses on food, housing, health care, education, transport and recreation based on the average Bulgarian standards.
The data were presented Monday by CITUB President Plamen Dimitrov, expert Violeta Dimitrova and the Institute's Director Lyuben Tomev.
The cost of living increased steadily between January and September by a total of some 63 leva.
A four-member household in Sofia needs 3,259 leva (815 leva per member), 31.8 per cent more than the country average.
To cover the cost of living, the net salary of each of the two adults in a family of four should be at least 1,236 leva (a 1,593-lev gross salary), provided that they both are employed and salaries are their only source of income. The net average salary in Sofia should be at least 1,629 leva.
Dimitrov said the income per household member is below the cost of living for 72.5 per cent of households in Bulgaria, including many pensioners. That is why CITUB wants a minimum contributory-income and retirement-age pension of 250 leva instead of the 234 leva proposed by the government as of January 2020. There are some 1,323,300 pensioners whose pensions are below the poverty line. Strong income polarization continues, said the union representatives.
CITUB wants a mechanism to be put in place which will bring the minimum wage to 50 per cent of the country average. Dimitrov believes this proportion will be part of the new EU Framework Directive on Minimum Income. The trade union calls for a consistent 15 per cent annual nominal wage rise so that Bulgaria can reach 60 per cent of the EU average GDP and incomes by 2022.
The union also insists on tax policy changes, including the introduction of a tax threshold, and on increasing the benefit for raising a child under two years of age from 380 to 415 leva a month. DT/DD