Mexican families need 19,000 pesos of monthly income to live in dignity

A family of four needs this monthly income to cover their needs, according to the civil organization "México Digno" (Mexico with dignity). Business groups have proposed a "living wage" of 7,000 and up to 9,500 pesos per month, beyond the legal minimum.

Mexican families need 19,000 pesos of monthly income to live in dignity
A family in Mexico needs 19,000 pesos to live in dignity. Photo by Jhon David / Unsplash

In Mexico, a family of four - father, mother and two children - requires an income of 19,000 pesos per month to live with dignity, said Enrique Terrazas, a member of México Digno, a civil society organization (CSO) from Chihuahua that promotes, together with businessmen and other CSOs, a program whose objective is that workers receive an income to live with dignity. In a press videoconference attended by representatives of this CSO and businessmen promoting the "living wage" proposal, Terrazas pointed out that according to a study prepared by México Digno, with 19,000 pesos a family could cover food, clothing, medicine, and household expenses.

The businessman also pointed out that based on the fact that a family requires 19,000 pesos per month to live in a dignified manner, it is necessary to raise awareness so that companies pay each worker at least 9,500 pesos per month, since in the north of the country, in an average family two people receive salaries. According to Terrazas, the adoption of the Mexico Digno standard would allow a sufficient income for 80% of the country's labor force to live in dignity, considering that the private sector generates 8 out of every 10 jobs.

"The basic food basket is only enough to eat and the idea is not to have to decide between eating or buying an aspirin," said Terrazas, considering that families need other inputs to have a dignified life. Arturo Zapata, member of the Coparmex Executive Committee and spokesman for Empresas por el Bienestar, and Rogelio Gómez Hermosillo, coordinator of Acción Ciudadana Frente a la Pobreza, also participated in the event, both of whom agreed on the need for urgent and gradual recovery of Mexican wages.

Thus, the businessmen and the coordinator of Acción Ciudadana Frente a la Pobreza insisted that citizens must earn a salary that is not only sufficient for subsistence but also to achieve a dignified life for a family. For this reason, they stressed that companies must pay a "living wage" that is enough to meet the needs of the family beyond the basics. The urgent call to implement a "living wage" is launched a few days before the National Minimum Wage Commission (Conasami) approves the new minimum wage for 2022.

"It is urgent to accelerate the pace in the recovery of the minimum wage. There are 3 years left to reach the amount sufficient to overcome the poverty line. As civil society, we insist on the proposal for 2022 to increase at least 35 pesos plus a percentage equivalent to the increase in the basic food basket during this year," said Gómez Hermosillo. This would be around 6% and would bring us to a minimum wage of 185.20 pesos per day, 5,556 pesos per month," he added.

Frente a la Pobreza delivered, last September 20, suggests setting the 2022 minimum wage at 185.20 pesos per day as part of the gradual wage recovery plan it has been promoting since 2016. The amount of 185. 20 pesos, it was reported, is integrated with two components: an increase of 35 pesos per day as part of the Independent Recovery Amount (MIR) that does not impact contractual wage negotiations, and an increase of 6% equivalent to the estimated increase in inflation of the basic basket during 2021.

Finally, Arturo Zapata pointed out that currently 170 companies -medium and large; national and transnational, in at least 17 states of the republic- already pay salaries higher than 7,050 pesos per month, above the poverty threshold set by Coneval.