The Education Ministry building in Beirut, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. (The Daily Star/Khalil Hassan)
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Tens of thousands of surplus government employees and security personnel need to be laid off or assume other vacancies if the next Cabinet wants to cut waste and reduce the budget deficit, economists and experts said Tuesday.The salaries and end-of-service benefits for full-time civil servants, public school teachers, security personnel and retired staff represent at least 37 percent of total government revenues each year.There are over 300,000 full-time and retired government staff on the Treasury payroll each year. To make matters worse, 5,000 security personnel and civil servants were added in 2018, despite a government pledge to freeze all hiring in public departments.Citing an example, Mehanna said that there were currently at least 13,000 public school teachers too many.Mehanna proposed retraining some of the staff so they can fill other public-sector vacancies, such as in the Finance and Economy ministries.Wazni said that in the 2012 budget, the Finance Ministry set the number of civil servants and security personnel at 165,300 .The number of retired public-sector employees and Army personnel is more than 100,000 .
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