The amount of R$ 1,212 will not be enough to buy two basic food baskets a month in the city of São Paulo in January, according to the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese). The projection is that the basic basket will cost around R$700 in the capital of São Paulo in January.
The basic food basket – made up of 13 items – has values that vary between regions of the country and, therefore, represents a different portion of the minimum wage in each one of them. In most of the 17 capitals surveyed, however, the price of the basket represents more than half of the minimum wage.
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The lowest price, R$473.26 (46.5% of the minimum wage), was found in Aracaju. The highest, at R$ 710.53 (approximately 70% of the minimum wage), was registered in Florianópolis. The data refer to November 2021, with calculation based on the current minimum wage.
A family, of course, doesn’t just have the market bill to pay. For Dieese, the value of the minimum wage should be almost R$ 6 thousand, considering the price level in the country (also in relation to November 2021). That’s almost five times the amount set for the new year.
As a reference, the new minimum wage can also be compared to other items whose increase drew attention in 2021.
A full minimum wage is equivalent to filling a 60-liter car tank three times, considering the average price of regular gasoline (BRL 6,684) in December 2021.
If compared to the dollar exchange rate on the last day of 2021, the new minimum wage is $217.
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The value of the minimum wage for 2022, of R$ 1,212, was confirmed in a provisional measure published this Friday (31/12) and is valid from January 1st.
The R$112 increase in relation to the amount in effect during 2021 (R$1,100) does not represent a real increase, but only the recomposition of inflationary losses.
For this calculation, the inflation rate measured by the INPC (National Consumer Price Index) is used – which covers families with incomes from 1 to 5 minimum wages and aims to correct the purchasing power of wages.
The Ministry of Economy says that the calculation of the new minimum wage considered an increase of 10.02% as the expected INPC for the entire year of 2021. “In this percentage, the INPC values for the months from January to November and the government projections for the month of December,” says the note.
In addition, the government says that the value considers the so-called residual: the difference between the variation of the INPC in December 2020 and the estimate of this variation considered when the minimum wage (2021) was fixed at the end of 2020.
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The folder says that the new value meets what is established in the Federal Constitution, which determines the preservation of the purchasing power of the minimum wage.
The government estimates that, for each R$1 increase in the minimum wage, expenses on Social Security benefits, allowances and unemployment insurance, in addition to Continuous Cash Benefits under the Organic Law of Social Assistance and Life Monthly Income, rise by approximately R$ 364.8 million in the year 2022.
Dieese argues that there should be not only a reset of the minimum wage, but a real increase, stating that the price increases – mainly in food and beverages, transport and housing – mainly affected workers with income very close to the minimum wage.
“Those workers with an income very close to the minimum wage were the most affected by the drastic reduction in purchasing power”, says the organization.
More than 56 million people have income referenced to the minimum wage, including INSS beneficiaries and private and public workers, according to Dieese.