ASNS: More than half of citizens are in de facto poverty
The Association of Free and Independent Trade Unions (ASNS) has warned that poverty is the biggest problem in Serbia.
“Major political and entertainment topics are being put in the public focus while more than half of the citizens live in de facto poverty,” the union said in a statement.
It was pointed out that the average family in which two members work can barely provide the statistical consumer basket, and about 700,000 workers who receive minimum wages or receive occasional income can buy only about half of the minimum consumer basket.
“Real inflation, with a growth of about 20 percent and a monthly acceleration of almost two percent, not including a certain additional increase in the price of electricity, gets the character of a spiral and mostly devalues the statistical growth of salaries,” the ANSN said.
It is estimated that the actual decline in purchasing power this year is more than 15 percent, and the number of workers receiving median earnings is about 20 percent.
“Families living on minimum wage have deeply entered the poverty zone. Pensioners and young people in education systems are particularly affected, who, apart from few of them who are lucky enough to get into student dormitories and get food in student canteens, are practically on the street because they cannot pay enormously increased rents and food costs,” the union said.
The Government of Serbia was asked to “immediately adopt targeted measures to help all families living on minimum wages, to subsidize the prices of electricity and energy products to the poor instead of corporations and tycoons, and to keep the prices of basic needs under constant state control”.