Aswat al-Iraq reports that citizens from Baghdad have called on public representatives to take salary cuts, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has done, to show their good will towards the poor. This comes as parliament prepares the federal budget draft law of 2011.
As unrest sweeps the Middle East, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would give up half his $30,000 monthly paycheck in a possible bid to head off simmering discontent, and called for a two-term limit to be placed on his office.
Iraqis have held sporadic protests against food, power and water shortages and their plight acquired particular attention this month as a wave of anti-government protests rocked the region.
For Abu Zaid, 61, from al-Shurta neighborhood, southwestern Baghdad, it’s the time for lawmakers and ministers to decrease their salaries, in addition to decreasing the post-retirement wage from 80% to 30 or 20% like other citizens, including civilians and military men.
“The decision taken by the premier to give up 5% of his salary will not be useful, unless other senior officials in the country take the same step,” he added.
“We support all initiatives of members of the parliament to allocate 15-20% of the budget to support all citizens, mainly the poor, and we encourage officials who decrease their salaries as a step to show solidarity and to boost trust between citizens and officials,” Milad Saad, 30, said.
“Al-Maliki’s decision is not enough. All officials have to do the same as there are so many people in the society need to be supported,” she added.
“Demonstrations in Iraq are useless, we have staged several protests calling for improving living conditions and incomes, but nothing happened, just the same promises,” Thu al-Faqqar Ali, 25, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
(Source: Aswat al-Iraq)