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How much is the consumer basket?

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 9
During a Government session at the end of 2008 the President asked his Ministers what the consumer basket index was. The “competent” ministers could not give an agreed figure. Their answers varied, some saying it was GEL 105, others GEL 157.

Eventually “expert” opinion agreed on USD 100 for one family. However this curious display was the subject of criticism from the opposition, which mocked the incompetence of the Government members, saying that their inability to give an answer shows they don’t care for the people.

In 2004 the subsistence income for a middle age male was GEL 96 per month, in 2008 it was GEL 129. In 2004 the average consumer needed to spend GEL 85 monthly, in 2008 the figure was GEL 115. In 2004 the subsistence income for a family was GEL 161, in 2008 it was GEL 218. This data comes from the Department of Statistics, but this department’s figures are always challenged by economic analysts, who claim that the subsistence income in 2008 is higher. In 2009 even Government officials confirm times will be even harder.