Lebanon News

Berri calls for legislative session to discuss wage hike bill

Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri casts his vote to elect the new Lebanese president in the parliament building in downtown Beirut April 23, 2014. (REUTERS/Joseph Eid/Pool)

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri called for a legislative session on May 14 to discuss and possibly approve the controversial public sector wage hike bill.

Berri's decision came after he met with Lebanese Forces MP George Adwan, a member of the parliamentary committee tasked with reviewing the draft law after several lawmakers voiced their reservations over the proposal.

Berri also held a meeting with Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil and Education Minister Elias Bou Saab.

The committee handed Berri its final review earlier this week after it amended the bill by reducing the total funding from $1.9 billion to $1.2 billion. The lawmakers also agreed to raise the value added tax from 10 to 11 percent and increase customs by 1 percent in a bid to generate funds to finance the wage hike.

The salary scale draft law has been a contentious issue for over three years with civil servants and unions observing nationwide strikes and holding protests to push Parliament to pass the draft law.





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