Cuban salaries rise to $19 a month
Average pay in the Communist-ruled nation rises 17 per cent in five
years, state data shows
AFP, Tuesday 5 Jun 2012
The average monthly salary in Cuba rose 17 per cent between 2006-2011 to
the equivalent of $19, the state statistics office said Monday.
That meant the average monthly wage of workers in Cuba — where the
Communist-ruled state controls more than 90 per cent of the economy —
climbed from the equivalent of $16 a month in 2006 to $19 last year, the
office said on its website.
Low salaries are a key complaint in the Americas' only one-party
Communist regime. There is a very small salary range from unskilled to
highly skilled labor; so a street sweeper might make $17 and a brain
surgeon $22 a month.
In the Caribbean nation of 11 million, education and health care are
free or nearly free, but the cost of putting food on the table remains a
major everyday concern.
Cubans who have access to hard currency — those who work in tourism or
who have relatives overseas — can spend it to supplement their incomes.
But million have no such access.
President Raul Castro's government has trimmed state payrolls and
allowed a few crowd-pleasing changes like allowing Cubans to stay in
hotels that once were only for foreigners.
But Castro, 81, has not launched any wholesale overhaul of Cuba's
decrepit centrally planned economy which is kept afloat largely by
Venezuelan economic support.