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Discrepancies in calculating living wage

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 16
Before the 2003 Rose Revolution it was acknowledged that 52% of Georgia’s population lived below the poverty line and the living wage for the average Georgian was GEL 115. The revolution leaders promised that minimum pension would rise to GEL 115. Time has passed and the rose administration has started using different methods for calculating the minimum to live on. The calories of products of necessary products were decreased; instead of retail prices, wholesale prices were used and by using other similar manipulations the consumer basket has become cheaper. As a result the percentage of the population living beneath the poverty line decreased from 52% to 35%. However as former minister of economy, Lado Papava mentions changing the calculation method has not improved the standard of living for the poor. Papava points out that in 2006 the ruling administration started to use a different methodology to assess the needs of poor. According to new methodology if a family owns a television, it is not poor. But as the oriental saying goes no matter how many times we say Khalva it does not taste sweeter.