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Venezuela hikes wages ahead of monetary overhaul

Venezuela hikes wages ahead of monetary overhaul

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has raised wages for the fifth time this year while saying he's looking to establish a single exchange rate tied to the nation's fledgling cryptocurrency.

Maduro made the announcement Friday night ahead of a monetary overhaul next week that will see five zeros lopped off from the nation's currency in a bid to fight inflation forecast to top 1,000,000 percent this year.

Maduro set the new monthly minimum wage at 1,800 sovereign bolivars, the new currency that goes into effect Monday. That's a 3,000 percent increase over the current wage of just over 5 million bolivars but still less than $40 at the widely used black market rate.

Maduro also hiked sales taxes and said he would take other measures to eliminate Venezuela's double-digit fiscal deficit.