An average household comprising two working adults and two children living in the City of Buenos Aires needed roughly AR $20,937 to stay above the poverty line in July, according to the latest report issued by the Buenos Aires City Government’s statistics agency. The figure represents a 3.5 percent increase compared to the previous month, and is 0.6 percent lower than the inflation rate for the Greater Buenos Aires area released by the Indec on Tuesday.
Moreover, the same household needed AR $10,252 to not be considered destitute – a 3.5 percent increase compared to July 2018.
The poverty and destitution lines are determined by the household’s ability to access the so-called Food Basket (CBA) and Total Basket (CBT). The basic food basket, as its name implies, includes only basic food needed for subsistence, whereas the CBT includes some services as well.
However, both assume that rent does not have to be paid. Presumably, this is the case because rent prices vary considerably depending on the size and location of the place the household inhabits, and the consequent impossibility to establish an average.
The minimum monthly salary in Argentina is AR $10,000. The most recent increase was implemented in July, but it was the latest installment of a raise established unilaterally by the government in July 2017 after it failed to reach an agreement with the other parties that comprise the so-called Employment, Productivity, and Minimum Salary Council.
This means that two working adults who are paid the minimum wage in Argentina don’t earn enough to keep an average household above the poverty line and that one adult’s minimum salary would not be enough to keep it over destitution levels.