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Cuban Minister: Nothing justifies raising prices after wage increases

Cuban Minister: Nothing justifies raising prices after wage increasesHAVANA, Cuba, Jul 3 (ACN) Alejandro Gil Fernandez, Minister of Economy and Planning, said that the wage increase in the budgeted sector and among pensioners need not lead to an increase in the price of goods and services in the hands of companies and the non-state sector.

His intervention in the Round Table, together with Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel and heads of other ministries, served to clarify that education, health, Central State Administration agencies, television, sports, culture and justice, among others, belong to this sector.
Their expenses are assumed by the State budget and the goods and services they provide are free, are not charged and when some are charged that fee is not related to costs, unlike what may happen with the business system, which has to take its price at its cost to recover it, explained Gil Fernandez.
Therefore, the first element is that an increase in the salary of the budgeted sector does not increase any price of its sales, in addition to the fact that we are not now making any salary modification in the business system, so there is no cause for cost increase that justifies price increase in this sector, said the Minister.
He added that inflation has two fundamental causes: the increase in costs or the demand for goods, and this occurs in a market economy, where prices play a regulating role between supply and demand, and this is not our case either, he said.
He stated that in the business sector there is no technical element that justifies an increase in prices because the costs will be the same, both now and after the measure; they can even improve because companies are supposed to earn more by producing and selling more, but not by selling more expensive, he said.
He explained that even in the non-state sector there is no cost element that leads to higher prices, since the prices of the wholesale trade that the State promotes will not rise, nor of the retail prices where the referred sector is supplied.
We are not making any change to increase taxes, that is, the rules of the game remain the same, said Gil Fernandez.
This measure of salary increase (to more than 2.7 million Cubans) allows families to access certain goods and services to which they could not previously, such as communications and tourism, so we have to enhance that increase with a greater diversity of goods and services for the population, he said finally.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel has insisted that with the new provisions approved by the Council of Ministers there can be no price increases in the state or non-state sector.
"This is not now to enrich us, this is so that people have, in the current conditions, more purchasing possibilities, because we have not changed other parameters," he said.

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