Oil, Wages and Officials

If any Lebanese top leader, minister or lawmaker desires a salary raise, he or  she should wait for Lebanon’s offshore oil to be extracted

Yes, that was Nabih Berri speaking. The officials’ salary hike is expected to be 4 Millions L.L. for the MPs and Ministers, while the top leaders enjoy a wage rage of 6 Millions L.L. according to a law that is supposed to give a raise to the civil servants’ wages. Two small comments:

  • The law was discussed over and over and was amended several times in the past weeks, for the simple reason that the state’s treasury can’t afford a wage raise that will cost it 5.5 million Dollars. Didn’t they notice by mistake that the MPs (127) and ministers(29) – I don’t know if the VPs in the cabinet and parliament are counted  like PM or MPs – have a raise of 2666$ and the troika (President, PM, Speaker) each have a raise of 4000$? Didn’t they notice during their thorough investigations that this would make a total of 427000$ (Out of the 5.5 Million Dollars), which is almost 8% of the money that should be paid to civil servants according to the law? If the law is such a burden why depriving the poor civil servant from his right – in the name of austerity – while the more or less useless hike for the officials can be abolished, or at least diminished? And the best part is that nobody spoke of the officials’ hike until today, as if they were trying to hiding it, all of them. Nabih Berri probably wants to appear like the humble – Robbin Hoodish – Speaker who wants to take from the rich and give to the poor. Te get extra votes, of course.
  • Let’s wait for the Oil, then augment our salaries. I’m rephrasing the quote in the beginning. So the very first use of the money that is rightful to the people, that should be used to improve the transportation, the electricity and water sectors, to stop the inflation and to solve the debt problem, will be paid to our Zuamas. No, not paid to the majority of public servants that are treated like slaves with their wages, no, not to all of them, but to the specific group of them that should be financially satisfied by their current wage (that doesn’t even include the compensation coming from corruption)

Just in case we had oil in our EEZ, we don’t have it anymore.