Economy

El Salvador's Bukele seeks 20% minimum wage hike, orders food handouts

Bukele ordered new food handouts under a pandemic social program, which he said could help inflation by lessening the demand for food purchases

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks at a graduation ceremony for higher rank police officers in San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2021. Photo: REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
  • El Salvador this month became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender along with the U.S. dollar;
  • Bukele’s recent political moves, including replacing senior judges and the attorney general have put in doubt negotiations for a potential $1 billion-financing program from the IMF.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele on Thursday requested a minimum wage hike of 20% from August due to poor Salvadorans suffering an “onslaught of global inflation.”

Bukele, speaking in a video shared on his Twitter account, said the increase would be subsidized by the government for small and medium-sized companies for 12 months, a move he said would take away the need for businesses to pass on higher costs to consumers.

READ ALSO: Is Paraguay set to make bitcoin legal tender? Don’t bet on it

“We can do little to change the rules of the world market, but we can do some ethical things,” Bukele said in a six and a half minute video posted to his Twitter account. “That is why this morning there is already a request to the Council of Minimum Wages to increase the minimum wage of Salvadorans.”

Bukele also ordered new food handouts under a pandemic social program, which he said could help inflation by lessening the demand for food purchases.

READ ALSO: In El Salvador, the millennial that expands its authoritarian base and wants to “bitcoinize” the country

El Salvador this month became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender along with the U.S. dollar, with Bukele touting the cryptocurrency’s potential as a remittance currency for Salvadorans overseas.

Bukele’s recent political moves, including replacing senior judges and the attorney general have put in doubt negotiations for a potential $1 billion-financing program from the International Monetary Fund.

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