The average family of four in Macedonia needed 34,342 denars (EUR 560) to cover basic living expenses in August 2021, according to the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia. If there were schoolchildren in the family, however, minimal monthly costs increased by 8,000 denar (EUR 131) for each student, unionists add.
According to their estimate of the bare necessities for an average household, 14,633 denars were needed to cover monthly food costs and 10,818 denars to cover monthly utilities.
The cost of personal hygiene items was approximately 2,382 denars. Transportation costs amounted to a minimum of 2,529 denars. For entertainment, an average family of four needed 1,068 denars, and for healthcare – 736 denars.
“Living expenses keep increasing while wages stagnate,” unionists say, citing the State Statistical Office’s latest figures revealing the highest price hikes in food and beverages at 1.5 percent; vegetables, 15.8 percent; cheese and cottage cheese, 1.1 percent; meat 0.9 percent; bread and cereals, 0,7 percent; and milk, 0.6 percent.
Also, the average family of four had to pay Mden 8,000 per schoolchild in additional costs this month, unionists note, citing publicly available data on expenses related to the start of the school year.
Highlighting that two minimum monthly wages put together are not enough to cover basic living expenses in the country, labor unionists reiterate their request to the government to increase the national minimum wage to 60 percent of the average monthly salary.
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