Bulgaria: Living expenses are much higher than income

Written by on November 14, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: Living expenses are much higher than income

A four-member household in Bulgaria, consisting of two adults and two children, needs 2301 leva (1,176 euro) a month to cover its living costs, according to the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CITUB).

According to CITUB, many Bulgarians do not have that kind of income. The numbers, as cited by Bulgarian-language media, take into account consumer prices and living expenses in Bulgaria in the third quarter of 2017.

According to those numbers, the cost of living in Bulgaria is 575 leva (294 euro) a person, in a four-member household. This means each of the parents need to have a gross salary of at least 1474 leva (753 euro), in order to make ends meet.

The problem is that the official average wage in the third quarter of 2017 was only 1037 leva (530 euro). That is almost 30 per cent lower than it would need to be. Three-quarters of all Bulgarians, 5.4 million people, live in households the total income of which does not cover the living expenses.

It gets worse: Almost 2.2 million Bulgarians live in households with an income of less than 314 leva (161 euro) per person, which is the official poverty line. Thirty per cent of all Bulgarians are in that situation.

Darik Radio quoted confederation leader Plamen Dimitrov as saying that a growing number of Bulgarians, 403 000 of them, are working on minimum wage, which is 460 leva (235 euro) a month.

Things are generally different in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which is expensive in comparison. Here, that four-member family would need 3003 leva (1535 euro) a month. This means the average monthly living costs per person amount to 750 leva, 30 per cent more than in the rest of Bulgaria.

For that reason, the two parents in that model family should bring home a gross salary of 1924 leva (984 euro) each. Yes, this is a problem too, since in Sofia, the average gross salary is 1405 leva (718), or 27 per cent less than needed, while the living costs are increasing.

 

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