On 25 January 2019, The Daily News reported the following statement made by MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake:
“They [estate workers] spend 50 percent of their earnings on food.”
The MP reportedly made this claim in parliament on 24 January, while moving the Adjournment Motion on the issue of wages of estate workers.
The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) of 2016 shows that average household income in the estate sector is Rs. 34,804 and average household food expenditure is Rs. 16,890 (see Exhibit 1). Therefore, the share of household income spent on food in the estate sector is 48.5%
As MP Dissanayake’s quoted figure is a close approximation of the official data, we have categorised his statement as TRUE.
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