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Essential goods have risen in price by 3 percent

Trade unionists are pushing for 15% income growth and job retention

The cost of living in Bulgaria increases by 1% on an annual basis

Photo: archive

The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria /CITUB/ has announced the summarized results for the trends in the cost of living in Bulgaria in the 4th quarter of 2020. According to an analysis of the union, one person per household already needs a gross income of BGN 638 /EUR 326/ per month, which is BGN 25 /EUR 12.78/, or 1% increase in the total subsistence for the year. Compared to the previous 3 years, this is the lowest growth in increasing the cost of living in Bulgaria, according to CITUB.

Currently, in order to lead a normal life a 4-member household in Bulgaria needs a total income of the working members of 2,542 BGN /1,299 EUR/. The data are based on the Bulgarian consumption standards, with which this indicator is compared over the years.

Groceries are the main driver for the growth of the overall consumer basket index. For the last year a more noticeable increase in the price is observed for bread and cereals and some dairy products - by 5%, and animal and vegetable fats have increased by 14%. Sugar has also risen in price - by 4%. There is an increase in the prices of basic necessities by an average of 3% for 2020. For comparison, in the previous 2 years their growth was about 10 percent. This means that for households with limited consumption in a pandemic, the increase in the price of basic necessities shrinks the budget in other spending areas, such as education, health, clothing and furnishings, according to the union survey.

In the analysis of the growth of the wages for the 4th quarter of 2020, the trade unionists notice that the openings for low-skilled labour are decreasing, and their number is increasing for the more qualified professions. This is the reason for the growth of the average wage in our country, as the growth is at the expense of reducing the number of low-paid jobs.
"Unemployment in Bulgaria is below the average European levels for last year, but it will grow and I hope it will not cause concussions”, said Plamen Dimitrov, president of CITUB. According to the union, resources to the tune of about BGN 600 million will be needed to continue the measures for preserving jobs, at least until the middle of 2021.
"We see that what people are paid as an average salary is lower by 16% than the income needed to support a family," Plamen Dimitrov says, analysing the numbers.
"We know that the average salary is not median and nearly 2/3 of Bulgarian workers receive less than the national average salary. At the same time since 2008 onwards the net salary has actually doubled, i.e. by 109%, and it is now BGN 1,065 (EUR 544) in the last quarter of 2020. The cost of living for this period has increased by about 3.4% and from BGN 937 /EUR 479/ in 2008, it is now up to BGN 1,271 /EUR 649/. This is a visible, clear trend of convergence of the two indicators. But these funds have not yet reached equilibrium and this is our main demand - income growth in Bulgaria. The net amount of incomes must be at least 15% higher than the necessary funds for subsistence in order to have a large enough proportion of households able to cover the basic subsistence costs."

Photos: BGNES and archive
English version Rositsa Petcova