Egypt to raise public-sector salaries by 20 pct

The Egyptian government will give public-sector employees a salary increase of at least 20 percent this year, more than previously promised, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said in an interview with state newspaper al-Messa.

Egypt to raise public-sector salaries by 20 pct

"There are studies underway on the real resources with which the next social raise will be financed so that it will be more than 15 percent. In any case it will not be less than 20 percent," it quoted Nazif as saying in the interview, seen on the newspaper's Web site http://www.almessa.net.eg/ on Thursday.

The draft budget for the fiscal year 2008-2009, which is on its way to parliament, allows for a 15 percent rise in salaries, slightly above inflation of 14.4 percent in the year to March.

Analysts have said the inflation rate for the poor is higher than the average because they spend more of their income on basic foodstuffs, which have risen sharply in price.

Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali said this week that the government was considering a higher raise, but that the increase should not push up the budget deficit, projected at 6.9 percent of gross domestic product.

Asked where the money might come from, Boutros-Ghali told Reuters: "Anywhere. I don't want to talk about it yet because I would rather have them (parliament and the ruling party) come up with the idea, but we have a few ideas."

The prime minister gave no further details of where the government would find the extra money.

Manpower Minister Aisha Abdel Hadi said after meeting President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday that in a speech next Wednesday to mark May Day Mubarak would announce "pleasant news ... of benefit to workers and everyone". She gave no details.

Egypt has seen a wave of worker unrest over the past year, culminating in riots which started in the Nile Delta textile town of Mahalla el-Kubra on April 6. Three people were killed and more than 150 people were injured over two days.


Reuters

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2008, 14:39
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