How Much Income One Needs to Live Well in Armenia?

In Armenia the level of poverty is 70-80% due to unemployment and low income, said Member of Parliament Vardan Bostanjyan in an interview with Lragir.am, commenting on the report of the National Statistics Service which states that poverty in Armenia was 29.4% in 2016.

According to studies by the National Statistics Service, the minimum consumer basket was 43,984 AMD per month including 24,850 AMD for food.

The average spending of the poor per one adult was a monthly 34,881 AMD, and the extremely poor 21,072 AMD.

The NSS studies show that people are speaking about income that differs much from the stated numbers.

To survive, the income per person must be 120,000 AMD, to live well the income per person must be at 347,234 AMD. Respondents said to live very well, the monthly income per adult should be 655,060 AMD.

Vardan Bostanjyan says this year people’s income did not go up.

“First of all, the quality of life is measured by the level of consumption by the bulk of its citizens. And in Armenia an undesirably low measure was reported in 2017. As to tendencies that we are going to have soon, it is not well visible. And the reported 29.4% poverty is but titular and relative assessments. In reality, I wouldn’t like to exaggerate but I think that the level of poverty in Armenia is 70-80%,” Vardan Bostanjyan says.

On the whole, according to the economist, 2017 was not one of the best years in terms of development of the country. “The situation did not improve in many aspects, both economic and social. Even though the political forces spoke out ahead of the elections, the movement that was expected did not seem to achieve success in this direction,” he says.

In answer to the question why the government is unable to improve the social and economic situation, the member of parliament says first it is necessary to create jobs and pay a dignified salary to people.

“Now there is a lack of jobs and a horridly low level of income. There is terrible polarization in the country. A small percentage possesses all the opportunities for income, and a huge mass, about 70%, can hardly make both ends meet,” he said.

The only way to withdraw the country from this situation is to develop industries, which will lead to creation of jobs.

“Any country should define its level of self-sufficiency based on its resources and possibilities. We consume a lot of products produced by others. We could develop local production, especially in light production. If we do not produce, we do not have the relevant jobs. Without jobs we have no income. So, first of all, we need to do this first, not turn to a country of malls,” the member of parliament says.