Lebanon News

Bickering over spending mechanism persists

Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, right, speaks with MP Ghazi Youssef at the Parliament in Beirut, Friday, April 11, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: Future Bloc MP Ghazi Youssef Sunday said that Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil has violated the law by allowing spending from funds allocated to pay inflation cost, underscoring the need to agree on a spending mechanism.

Speaking in a radio interview, Youssef said Khalil, member of rival Amal movement headed by Speaker Nabih Berri, acted with the aim of placing pressure on Future MPs to attend Parliament and grant additional credit to the ministry to be able to pay public employees’ salaries.

“There are two aspects for the issue, a technical one and a political one,” Youssef said, noting that his party is “in constant dialogue with the minister of finance and Amal (movement) in that regard.”

“It is mandatory that the government asks for additional credits, but the most important thing is to reactivate the budget to fund salaries and wages,” Youssef added.

Khalil insists that he will not authorize extra-budgetary spending without a law passed by Parliament, while the Future Movement says the law allows such spending in the absence of a budget.

The bickering raised fears that the salaries of public sector employees would not be paid at the end of July in the absence of an agreement.





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