By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 4, September 2013:
The government is raising salaries of public sector employees by 20 percent, it was announced today.
Speaking . . .[restrict]at his weekly press conference, the Prime Minister said that there was also the possibility of annual, inflation-linked allowances, provided the state of the economy permitted it.
The salary increases, Ali Zeidan, explained, were part of the plan to remove the subsidies on commodities. It would contribute to improving the income of Libyans and their living conditions, he stressed.
Zeidan also announced that the Council of Ministers (the cabinet) had decided to separately increase the salaries of Judicial Council staff to reflect the important role they played in society.
In Tripoli today the announcement was largely welcomed, although there were questions about the timing, with cynics noting that it came as the government’s popularity was in free-fall, not least because of the electricity and water cut in the capital.
Although Libyans are underpaid by western and Gulf oil economy standards, and it generally agreed that wages should rise, there are fears that the salary increase would be inflationary. Nor will it extend to the growing private sector.
The announcement also comes at a time the authorities are starting to crack down on state-employees having multiple salaries. [/restrict]