On the eve of Yalda Night, Iran’s state-run media examined the aspects of the social and economic problems of the people. Arman daily in an article entitled, “Do not shorten the breath of the workers,” pointed to the decision makings of the government which is totally against the workers’ community.
“Inflation of 40 percent and perhaps higher, as well as the devaluation of the national currency and the power to cover wage costs, have left many members of the large and important working-class community with the burden of advancing economic goals and running their lives to the point of poverty,” Arman wrote.
The author of the article, while pointing to the impact of the budget deficit on people’s food baskets, said that “the sick economy” of Iran “is in its worst situation.”
“The budget deficit is the biggest disaster that befalls the budget of a country because this deficit must be compensated by the people, more than 40 percent of whom are working-class families,” Arman daily wrote on December 21.
In the current situation, and at a time when inflation is rampant, not only the workers but also the majority of the people are struggling to make ends meet.
The provision of ‘installment bread’ and ‘loaned bread’ by some people is a testament to the unprecedented bitter reality that Iran’s rulers have imposed on people’s lives.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus crisis has added to the problems of the people’s livelihoods, leaving many workers and the poor, unemployed, and many of them losing their pre-crisis income.
Hamdeli daily pointed to the “61-percent inflation gap and workers’ livelihood”, and while pointing to the rising commodity prices and rising living costs of the poor, especially workers, quoted a government official as saying:
“The cost of housing differs from other groups in this class due to its spatial differences. In total, the cost of housing, clothing, and food is about 70 percent of workers’ incomes,” Hamdeli wrote on December 21.
“These three sections are the main uses of workers that are considered in estimating the cost of living of this group. But the cost of a product basket in 2021 will be much higher than this year, which estimates the right to housing and the cost of education separately,” the daily added.
The result is that workers and other poor people are getting poorer and their purchasing power is much lower than in previous years due to rising inflation and the cost of living, as well as low wages, which in many cases do not even reach one-fifth of the poverty line.
The Kar and Kargar daily, while pointing to the inability of workers and people to hold the simplest Yalda night ceremony, which is performed once a year, wrote:
“A small Yalda dinner table for an average family of three, including a kilo of medium quality nuts, three kilos of pomegranates, and a four-kilo watermelon, costs 2.49 million rials [$9.84]. In this context, a worker must spend about one-tenth of his monthly salary only to perform one-night rituals.
“If we consider the high rental rates, the cost of education and transportation, and the common costs of food, is it reasonable to spend such a large amount of money overnight for working-class households?
“It seems that preserving traditions for 65 percent of the country’s population is no longer easy at all. Contract workers or those working in small and stagnant workshops cannot spend 3-4 million rials [$11.85-15.81] a night. These workers, as well as retirees who have a monthly salary of less than 30 million rials [$118.57], can no longer keep their faces straight” wrote Kar-o-Karegar daily on December 21.