Colombia’s vice-president Monday slammed new definitions of poverty from the National Planning Department, saying “I don’t know what planet they live on.”
According to the revised definitions a person is not poor if he/she earns $105 a month and is part of a family of four with an income of $438 a month.
In a press conference, Angelino Garzon said he was ready to give department officials $438 to go to the market to see if they could buy food for a family of four for a month.
He added the new definitions were an “insult” to the 5 million Colombians living below the poverty line.
The revised figures are based on the latest data of consumer habits from the National Survey of Incomes and Expenses (DANE).
They are a part of the department’s new method of measuring poverty, which looks at household incomes alongside living conditions and access to public services such as health and education.
Current data shows last year 37.2% of the population, approximately 16.4 million people, were living below the poverty line. Of those, 5.4 million were living in extreme poverty – classed as earning less than $46 a month.
The government’s target is to help lift one million people out of poverty.