BEIRUT: Cardinal Beshara Rai warned Tuesday that endorsing the new salary scale for public employees and teachers without amending it could harm the educational system in Lebanon.
“If the new salary scale is adopted the way it is, it will cause some schools to shut down and teachers to lose their jobs, Rai said while inaugurating the 20th forum of Catholic Schools in Ajaltoun.
“Parents will not be able to pay school fees and the number of students in our schools will fall which could harm the educational message that characterizes Lebanon.”
The Cabinet in May referred a long-awaited public sector salary raise measure to Parliament, bowing to demands by public employee unions.
The bill, which has yet to be endorsed by Parliament, raises taxes mainly on luxury goods such as tobacco and alcoholic beverages as well as bank deposits to finance the public employee salary increase.
The bill could also lead to an increase in school fees.
Rai said parents will be worn out by “increasing financial burdens which they already have enough of due to the deteriorating economic, social and living conditions in Lebanon.”