On 13 December 2017, at the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia, a member of the European Georgia – Movement for Freedom, Gigi Tsereteli, stated: “In the last year, if we take an average of various figures, household subsistence minimum increased by approximately 10% or slightly more.”
FactCheck verified the accuracy of Gigi Tsereteli’s statement.
Subsistence minimum is the minimal amount of income, which is necessary for survival. Calculation of subsistence minimum is made on the basis of minimal food basket. The latter specifies the necessary amount of food and calories to live.
Of subsistence minimum, 70% is food expenditures, whilst share of non-food expenditures (healthcare, education, transport, clothes, communal bills etc). Some experts have argued for long that methodology of calculating the subsistence minimum needs to be revised and in fact subsistence minimum is much higher.
Growth of subsistence minimum is indicative of growth of people’s expenditures.
National Statistics Office of Georgia publishes monthly figures of subsistence minimum. According to the latest data, in 2017 subsistence minimum for working age male is GEL 175.7, whilst for average consumer it is GEL 155.7 and for average household – GEL 294.8. As compared to November 2016, subsistence amount of working age male, as well as average consumer and household have increased by at least 9%.
Subsistence minimum has been increasing monthly, with July 2017 being the only exception, as the subsistence level minimum actually dropped (see table 1).
Table 1: Subsistence Minimum (GEL)
|XI 2016||XII 2016||I 2017||II 2017||III 2017||IV 2017||V 2017||VI 2017||VII 2017||VIII 2017||IX 2017||X 2017||XI 2017|
|Subsistence Minimum of Working Age Male||161||162||166||168||170||171||173||174||167||167||169||174||176|
|Subsistence Minimum for Average Consumer||143||143||147||149||150||151||153||154||148||148||149||154||156|
|Subsistence Minimum for Average Family||271||271||279||282||285||286||291||292||280||281||283||292||295|
As of November 2017 data, subsistence minimum for two-person, three-person and four-person households have increased by at least 9% as well, which means that they need GEL 20-25 more to survive.
Growth of subsistence minimum is largely stipulated by increased level of inflation. In accordance with the National Statistics Office of Georgia, in 2017 consumer goods and services got expensive by 6.7%, whilst after November 2016 price hike constitutes 7.7%.
As compared to November 2016, subsistence minimum for working age male, average consumer and household have increased by at least 9% in accordance to the November 2017 figures.
In one year, the amount of expenses to meet the necessary requirements for survival has increased by nearly GEL 13-15 for one person and by GEL 20-25 on average for a household.
FactCheck concludes that Gigi Tsereteli’s statement is TRUE.