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Poverty in Chile hits historic low

Friday, July 28th 2023 - 10:17 UTC
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“This news shows that we are moving in the right direction,” Boric said “This news shows that we are moving in the right direction,” Boric said

According to the National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey (Casen) conducted by the Ministry of Social Development and Family with the collaboration of the University of Chile released Thursday, poverty in the South American country reached a historic low, falling from 10.7% in 2020 to 6.5%.

Non-extreme poverty reached 4.5% after reaching 6.4% in the previous survey, while only 2% of the population (or 397,963 people) were found to live in extreme poverty, it was reported in Santiago.

A criterion on which the measurement of income poverty is based is the value of the Basic Food Basket, which, between November 2020 and November 2022, increased by 33.6%.

Government sources explained these results through an increase in average labor income together with the self-employed before subsidies made a significant contribution to the per capita income of households.

”Everything has to contribute to reducing poverty (it is not worth it) lamenting that it is by public policy. I think we would have to ask ourselves, well, what would have happened if that public policy had not been there (...) I think we have to recognize that in this opportunity, between 2017 and 2022, public policy was more important than economic growth (regarding poverty)“, said Finance Minister Mario Marcel.

Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson stressed that ”what one can see is that there was a recovery, at least of autonomous income because it responds to growth policies, job creation, which were developed both in the year 2021 and in the year 2022.″ He added that ”the difference between subsidies, although they grew, is not so much larger as to be able to attribute to that single measure (the fall in poverty) with respect to 2020.″

It “is a shared achievement because I want to say that the Casen survey reaches to take part of what was the end of the previous government, and the year and a half that has been our government,” said President Gabriel Boric Font.

“I would like to share some good news for all of Chile. The results of the Casen 2022 survey have been delivered and it shows us that income poverty dropped to 6.5 points and has reached the lowest levels even since 2017, which was 8.5. This measurement realizes that we have managed to reverse the effect of the pandemic in poverty, when it increased, and also in inequality, and that we have reached the lowest measurement since this instrument has been used. This is a shared achievement, because I would like to say that the Casen survey is able to take part of what was the end of the previous government, and the year and a half that has been our government,” he added.

“It is good news for everyone and I hope it is shared by all, and that we think about it with a State vision. We must not be satisfied. The fact that we have reduced income poverty and multidimensional poverty to historic levels means that we have reduced it, but there are still many people living in poverty. This is good news, but it is not news to celebrate, because the poor have to come first,” Boric also pointed out.

“To give you an idea of the impact of this. Here in the Biobío region, income poverty dropped from 12.2% in 2017 to 7.5% in 2022 is very significant, but that 7.5% still worries us. We have to strengthen that middle class that manages to get out of poverty but lives in conditions of uncertainty. This is part of the challenge we have as a government. This news shows that we are moving in the right direction, and the actions we have taken have given results,” Boric went on.

Categories: Politics, Chile.

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