The purchasing power of Iranian workers has declined by 50 percent, says a former member of the Council of Money and Credit.

ILNA cites Ali Ghanbari as saying: “Currently, the poverty line in the large cities is estimated at about 800,000 toumans, while the average monthly salary for workers is 350,000 toumans.”

He maintained that the restructuring of government subsidies has caused inflation, which exacerbates the problem.

Ghanbari added that the family benefits given to households every month only cover the cost of utilities.

The Ahmadinejad administration has cut government subsidies on energy and food staples and instead provides a monthly government benefit to help families adjust to the increase in the price of food, utilities and gasoline.

Analysts have indicated, however, that the benefits do not cover the sudden rise in prices, and that inflation will continue to push workers further below the poverty line.