Report: Joint Parliamentary Committees Agree on Articles Linked to Funding of Wage Scale

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The joint parliamentary committees have made progress over the funding of the new wage scale, reported the daily An Nahar on Thursday.

Informed sources told the daily that the committees completed discussions on articles linked to its funding, agreeing that the cost of the scale will reach L.L. 1,740 billion.

The government's proposal initially called for L.LL. 1,665 billion for funding it.

A joint parliamentary committees report to parliament submitted on April 15 said that the total cost of funding the wage hike is L.L. 2,440.

The latest committee talks also included tax amendments, such as raising the Value Added Tax from 10 to 12 percent.

The raise will exclude taxes of fuel, electricity, water resources, and essential goods.

The hike in taxes is aimed at garnering L.L.500 billion for the scale, explained An Nahar.

The parliament has so far failed to approve the new wage scale over ongoing disputes over its funding.

The Syndicate Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, is demanding a 121 percent salary raise that would be effective retroactively. It has also rejected proposals for the extra money to be paid in installments.

The public sector wage scale was approved by the government of Premier Najib Miqati in 2012. But lawmakers have so far failed to approve it over fears that the hike would have a devastating impact on the economy and lead to a depreciation in the Lebanese pound.

Instead, lawmakers formed a committee to study the pay raise.

But the SCC, which has held several demonstrations, cast doubt on their ability to give the public sector employees their rights after reports emerged that the members of the committee would slash the hike.



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