23% of Bulgarian Households Live below Poverty Line
The poverty line in Bulgaria is BGN 216 a month, with 1.6 million people (23% of households) living below it, according to a recent study.
The report on consumer prices and living cost, presented at a briefing Friday, has been prepared for the Confederation of Independent Syndicates in Bulgaria, KNSB.
BGN 566 a month per person (BGN 2 664 per household) is needed so that a 4-member household can lead a normal life.
KNSB forecasts further impoverishment over the increasing prices of basis food staples.
The poverty line, based on the consumer basket of 77 basic goods and services, is up 0.5%, compared to the first quarter of 2010, when it was BGN 206.
46% of households (3.4 million people) have a monthly income of BGN 310 a month per member.
37% of households (2.7 million people) have a monthly income of BGN 311 – BGN 566 a month per member.
17% of households (1.2 million people) have a monthly income of over BGN 566 a month per member.
Compared to the last quarter of 2012, in the first quarter of 2013, living cost is up 0.2%. It is up 3.4% on annual basis. The report shows the slightly lower prices of heating, natural gas, and electricity don't have a real effect on the households' budget over increasing prices of goods and services and the wages' freeze.
Salaries are the main source of income, forming 53% of the households' total income. The contribution of retirement pensions is down to 27% in 2012, compared to 30% in 2011.
In 2012, the average monthly salary was BGN 766, according to data of the National Statistics Institute, NSI, which is an 8.4% increase on annual basis. KNSB, however, attributes the increase to lower employment rates.
The differences in monthly salaries in different sectors are deepening and for some they reach 6-fold, which means a larger social polarization.
Food prices are up 1.8%, services and other goods – 1.4%, compared to the previous quarter, and 4.9% and 2.1%, respectively, on annual basis.
In mortgages and expenses for maintaining a home, prices are up 0.9%, but the cost of trash collection is up 3.7%. Expenses for energy are down by 5.1%.
Prices of gasoline and diesel are up nearly 5% in the first quarter of 2013.
The government set the poverty line as of November 2012 at BGN 241 a month.
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