Lawmakers convene in Lebanon's Parliament.
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Despite high hopes expressed mainly by Speaker Nabih Berri and members of his bloc that the public sector salary hike bill would be approved by Parliament this week, persistent differences among lawmakers over its hefty cost and proposed taxes to foot the bill might still stall it.Although the Future Movement's parliamentary bloc has repeatedly declared its support for the approval of the salary scale bill, Youssef said, "I will not back a costly salary scale that will harm the economy". He warned that increasing pensions for retired civil servants would raise the cost of the salary scale bill from LL1.2 trillion to LL2 trillion.The salary scale bill was not included in the draft budget, and will be treated as a separate issue before being integrated.Parliamentary blocs also remained split on whether the salary scale issue should be dealt with separately from the draft budget.While Berri, backed by Hezbollah, is pushing for endorsing the bill in isolation of the draft budget, the FPM, the Future Movement and the Lebanese Forces are demanding that the draft budget and the salary scale bill be approved and issued as one law.
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