CAIRO: The government revoked its decision to give a 30 percent annual raise to all civil servants, offering instead a 5 percent salary increase, citing a lack of financial resources.
All promised raises, including pensions, will also decrease, according to Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, a ruling party MP and member of the People’s Assembly’s economic committee.
Momtaz Al-Saeed, deputy minister of finance, made the announcement at the PA during Wednesday’s session which was only attended by the ruling National Democratic Party MPs.
According to Al-Saeed, who defended the decision, the government can only provide a sum of LE 3.575 billion for the annual raise; enough to increase the salaries of all public sector employers by 5 percent.
He added that the government took this decision to avoid having the national deficit exceed LE 100 billion, as the Central Bank will not be able to provide more than the earmarked amount.
He said that the government chose to provide more job opportunities instead of increasing the salaries of current employees.
Kwaitah explained that the decision came as a result of the huge losses incurred in the private sector as a result of the global economic crisis.
However, Muslim Brotherhood MP Hamdy Hassan, described the decision to revoke the 30 percent raise as “very stupid.
“The government should not have to choose between either increasing salaries or creating more job opportunities because it is obliged to do both, he said, adding that this was a promise made by President Hosni Mubarak during his 2005 presidential campaign.
“The decision is unfair and shows that the government doesn’t feel the huge sufferings of the people, especially that there are few government employees who are paid millions while the majority get nothing, and that’s not fair, Hassan said.
During the session, NDP MP Ahmed Ezz, chairman of the Planning and National Budget Committee, said that public sector salaries total LE 87 billion, with the education sector raking in 32 percent and the culture sector coming in second place at 8 percent.
On International Labor Day last year, President Mubarak promised a 30 percent raise to all civil servants.
The decision was swiftly followed by hiked petrol and commodity prices.