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What is the subsistence level in Georgia?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, January 26
During his live four-hour interview on Friday President Saakashvili stated that since 2003 the proportion of the population below the poverty life has decreased from 54% to 20%. This means the conditions of the population have improved significantly.

Independent economic analysts however challenge this statement. They think the figure the President quoted has been manipulated, as the methodology for calculating the subsistence level has been changed. Analysts also express mistrust of the figures or conclusions emerging from the Department of Statistics in general.

According to the new methodology the amount of nutrition declared necessary for a person to survive on has been decreased. Consequently the proportion of people below the poverty line has decreased incrementally. Georgia is the country with the lowest official subsistence level at the Caucasus, as official statistics declare that a work capable male’s minimum subsistence level in the beginning of 2008 was only GEL 123 monthly, though it rose to GEL 129 in November. The subsistence level for an average person was GEL 109 and is now GEL 115. The subsistence level of family of four is GEL 230 monthly, says the Department of Statistics. Of course this amount is only enough to buy bread and a limited amount of necessary products with, and does not include things like accommodation expenses..

Gia Khukhashvili, an independent economic expert, thinks that the subsistence level for one person is at least GEL 200 and for an verage four member family approximately GEL 700-800.