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What is the fate of the “minimum wage” agreement after the rise in inflation?…and a warning of the “risk of unemployment”

Amman Today

publish date 2023-01-14 10:11:08

Compass – Muhammad Saad

During its submission of the current draft budget 2023, the government acknowledged the difficult economic conditions, the decline in the purchasing power of citizens, the distortion of the tax burden and the rise in unemployment, so the report of the Department of Statistics on the rise in inflation confirms these declarations.

According to the report published Thursday, the general consumer price index (inflation) for the past year reached 106.79, compared to 102.46 for the year 2021, recording an increase of 4.23%.

The General Federation of Jordan Trade Unions called again to raise the minimum wage for the current year by the inflation rate, considering that it has become obligatory, after the statistics report.

The union said in a press statement on Thursday that the general consumer price index (inflation) in Jordan for the past year rose by 4.23 percent, which should be reflected in the amount of increase in the minimum wage and raising it by the same percentage, based on a previous decision taken by the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs. And it fulfilled the necessary legal procedures, but its implementation was postponed to the current year.

Also read: An economist reveals who is affected in the war between inflation and interest rates

According to the report, the fuel and lighting group contributed mainly to this increase by 35.96%, rents by 5.17%, transportation by 3.77%, culture and entertainment by 10.40%, and health by 6.45%.

The federation stated that the committee took a decision early last year, to postpone the implementation of its previous decision regarding linking the minimum wage with inflation rates issued by the official authorities, and to implement the decision for the coming years (2023, 2024, 2025), stressing the need not to postpone “linking the minimum wage to percentages.” Inflation” and the implementation of the decision for the current year.

He added that the decision also stipulated that the minimum wage for non-Jordanian workers would be 260 dinars, and from the beginning of 2023.

The statement stressed the need not to postpone the decision again. In view of the economic and living conditions that cast a shadow on the workers of the country, indicating that the current wage limit is below the level that meets the requirements of a decent life, and is not sufficient to provide the requirements of life, which necessitates its increase.

It is noteworthy that the Minister of Finance, Muhammad Al-Ississ, said, last Monday, that the budget for the current year 2023 amounts to 11.4 billion dinars, and he expects that the inflation rate will reach 3.8%, explaining that the real growth rate for the year 2023 will be 2.7%.

The President of the General Federation of Jordan Trade Unions, Mazen Al-Maaytah, called for the implementation of the decision of the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs, regarding raising the minimum wage for the current year 2023, equivalent to the rate of inflation, and the implementation of the decision for the next three years, as stipulated in the previously taken decision.

Al-Maaytah explained that the committee took a previous decision at the beginning of the year 2022 to postpone the implementation of its previous decision regarding linking the minimum wage with the issued inflation rates.

Al-Maaytah indicated that the previously taken decision stipulated that the minimum wage for non-Jordanian workers, from the beginning of the year, be 260 dinars.

And Al-Ississ indicated that the government will not take cosmetic or palliative decisions in the economic aspect, as a matter of not postponing crises, but rather dealing with them despite their repercussions on the reality of living.

Also read: Retroactive interest rate hike angers borrowers and legal calls to sue banks

The government had faced sharp criticism due to the high prices and the failure of economic policies, and it developed into protests in many governorates to demand a reduction in the prices of oil derivatives. As a result, Jordan witnessed a strike of trucks and public transport from work due to the high operating costs.

For his part, Representative Saleh Al-Armouti said that the budget speech is provocative, constructive and romantic without solutions, and that the Jordanian budget includes oppression for men, children and women, and does not include any salary increases.

In the budget presentation session, Al-Armouti called on the deputies to return the budget law, indicating that the government had left only 18% of the budget for discussion, while it confirmed in its speech that it would not grant the promises.

Al-Assiss expected that the budget deficit after grants in 2023 would reach about 1.862 billion dinars. As for the primary budget deficit, which is considered one of the most important indicators of financial sustainability, and which compares domestic revenues with public expenditures, excluding public debt service, it will decline for the third year in a row in 2023 to about 2.9% of GDP.

In addition, labor rights activist Hamada Abu Nejmeh warned against the return of the unemployment rate to 23.1% for the third quarter of last year.

Abu Najma said on his Facebook account, “According to what was announced by the general statistics, it indicates that we have not yet reached sufficient maturity to understand the threat of unemployment that threatens us and its economic and social effects.”

He pointed out that there are approximately 450 thousand unemployed, and 130 thousand new entrants to the labor market annually looking for work, in the absence of a real national program to deal with the issue of unemployment.
Abu Najma stressed that underestimating this issue (unemployment) and evading the various parties from their responsibilities towards it, and not paying attention to the suffering of those affected and their future, are all factors that will lead us into an unprecedented reality of imbalances that may affect societal security to the core.

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Jordan News

Source : اخبار الاردن

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