Berri Sets Pay Hike Session Next Wednesday

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Speaker Nabih Berri called for a parliamentary session next Wednesday to discuss the wage scale draft-law after its amendment by a ministerial-legislative committee.

The committee, which was formed a few weeks ago after lawmakers failed to agree on the raise, handed Berri the amended version of the wage scale on Monday.

The Syndicate Coordination Committee, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, says it will only accept a 121 percent wage hike as initially approved by ex-PM Najib Miqati’s government in 2012.

But the committee reduced the total funding from LL2.8 trillion ($1.9 billion) to LL1.8 trillion ($1.2 billion).

The committee also proposed raising the Value Added Tax from 10 to 11 percent on certain services, and customs by five percent on some items.

The SCC has warned that it would continue to hold street protests if parliament failed to approve the pay hike in its initial form.

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