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Giorgi Targamadze, presidential candidate for the Christian-Democratic Movement, held a press conference on 4 October 2013 and stated: “To this day, the government and the Parliament of Georgia are turning down not only our requests but reasonable and legitimate requests coming from tens-of-thousands of Georgian citizens, thereby neglecting their own pre-election promises… The subsistence level is not being raised and the methods of its measurement remain unchanged. Thus, the Georgian Government is evading its obligation to measure up the old-age pensions and other social aids to the real and fair subsistence level (source www.medianews.ge). FactCheck

found the candidate’s statement to be of interest and inquired about its accuracy.

A revision of the subsistence level has indeed been a pre-election promise of the Georgia Dream as rightly claimed by Giorgi Targamadze. “The subsistence level will go through a revision as it does not reflect the current reality and fails to satisfy the primary needs of the people. Considering these reasons, we will launch a reform in statistics. We will also revise the subsistence level which will be adjusted to our reality,” stated Nodar Khaduri, representative of the election block – Georgian Dream and present Minister of Finance, on 17 September 2012.

The National Statistics Office of Georgia measures subsistence level in accordance with the working age male’s basket of goods. The norms and standards for the composition of the basket of goods are defined by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs. GeoStat still measures the subsistence level based on the Decree N111/n of the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs (on the norms and standards set for the composition of the basket of goods necessary for estimating body’s physiological need for nutrients and energy and the subsistence level) issued on 8 May 2003. Thus, Targamadze’s claims regarding the measurement methods of the subsistence level not having been changed are verified.

The National Statistics Office of Georgia

also asserts that the subsistence level has seen no increase, thus confirming another of Giorgi Targamadze’s claims. As can be observed in the table below, the subsistence level has, although by little, still been decreasing over the last two years. The experts explain this fact by the drop in the prices of some of the products included in the basket of goods.

12 13

Conclusion

The National Statistics Office of Georgia determines the subsistence level in accordance with the basket of goods which is defined by the Decree of 8 May 2003 by the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs.

Giorgi Targamadze justly claims that the subsistence level saw no increase nor have the methods of its calculation been modified despite these being among the pre-election promises of the Georgian Dream.

Consequently, we conclude that Giorgi Targamadze’s statement: “The subsistence level is not being raised and the methods of its measurement remain unchanged,” is TRUE.