By Paul Nyakazeya
THE Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ)’s April monthly basket for a low income urban family of six has increased by 17,4% to $41 million, fr
om last month’s figure of $34,9 million.
Notable price increases were recorded in education, which rose by 202,3% for the new term beginning May.
Sugar went up by 60,1%, health costs by 40,7% while vegetables and bread increased by 29,3% and 29,9% respectively.
While commending employers for taking a pre-emptive step by awarding workers salaries that took into account the cost of living, CCZ said the new salary aand wage hikes were still way below the cost of living.
“However, there continues to be a disproportionate increase in the cost of living on the one hand whilst on the other there still remains a stagnation of incomes,” CCZ said
The consumer watchdog said there were visible improvements in the supply of mealie-meal and this resulted in prices decreasing by 22,2% from the average price recorded in April.
The $41 million required by the low-income urban earner reflects that the economic situation prevailing in Zimbabwe is certainly worsening.
Living standards for the common men have rapidly deteriorated and continue to decline.
According to the Central Statistical Office (CSO), Poverty Datum Line (PDL) figures confirm that most Zimbabweans are living in poverty as their salaries fall far short of the PDL.
CSO figures last month reflected that the breadwinner in a household of five persons should earn an income at par or in excess of $30,5 million per month in order to avoid being classified as poor.