Venezuela Boosts Minimum Wage 30% on World’s Fastest Inflation

Venezuela will raise the minimum wage for workers and pensioners effective in May after the world’s fastest annual inflation rate surged to 59 percent last month.

The wage increase puts the overall increase in the minimum wage this year at 43 percent, President Nicolas Maduro said in a national address. The government will consider another increase in the fourth quarter, he said.

“If another increase is needed, the working class can rest assured that I will do it,” Maduro said at an event with labor leaders held at the presidential palace in Caracas. “I am a worker president committed to the class that works and struggles.”

Venezuelan consumer prices in March rose 4.1 percent as the government carried out the biggest devaluation since currency controls were instituted in 2003. Venezuela last month allowed the bolivar to plunge 88 percent on a new currency market in a bid to increase dollar supplies.

Two and a half months of protests against inflation, shortages and rising crime have left at least 41 people dead.