MP Kanaan Refers New Wages Report to Parliament's General Secretariat

Change and Reform MP Ibrahim Kanaan, head of the Finance and Budget Parliamentary Committee, referred on Saturday the new wages report to the parliament's General Secretariat.

Kanaan will hold a press conference next week to explain the results reached by the committee and the drafted modifications.

According to the state-run National News Agency, the committee stressed in its report on the importance of carrying out the necessary reforms to better provide the public sector workers with their rights.

On Wednesday, the Syndicate Coordination Committee postponed a decision to go on strike until the Finance and Budget Parliamentary Committee finishes drafting its report and refers it to the to the parliament after Kanaan said that the committee would wrap up its report during the weekend.

The committee began discussing the new wage scale in July after President Michel Suleiman signed the decree mid-June.

The decree was endorsed by the government in March following weeks of protests across Lebanon.

However, the SCC, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, began threatening recently to hold strikes almost a year after staging nation-wide protests over the parliaments failure to endorse the decree that was adopted by the cabinet.

The state treasury will have more than $1.2 billion to cover over the presence of 180,000 public sector employees including military personnel.

The endorsement was accompanied by increasing the Value Added Tax on cars, mobile phones, alcohol and other luxury products from 10 to 15 percent to be able to fund the raise.

Even if the draft-law was referred by the parliamentary committee to the national assembly for endorsement, it is not clear when the parliament would convene to approve it.

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