[ltr]2023.02.24 - 11:35[/ltr]
Baghdad - Nas
The expert and professor of economics at the University of Basra, Nabil Al-Marsoumi, indicated, on Friday, that expanding the base of those covered by social protection salaries is a policy that is humanely acceptable and effective, but it has some negatives.
Al-Marsoumi said in a post entitled “Social Protection Salaries between Merit and Luxury,” followed by “NAS” (February 24, 2023), that “the Ministry of Labor seeks to expand the base of those covered by social protection salaries from 1.5 million to 2.5 million people for the purpose of addressing the high poverty rate in Iraq, which reaches 25% of the population.
He added, "It is a humane policy that is acceptable and effective, but it has some negatives, including:
First: It indicates the absence of a real economic process in Iraq that produces goods and provides job opportunities.
Second: Paying attention to the distributive aspect of oil revenues instead of investing them in developing and diversifying the Iraqi economy to provide job opportunities.
Third: Adding permanent burdens to a public budget funded primarily from unstable oil revenues that may later lead to the government not fulfilling its obligations towards those covered by social protection salaries if the oil price falls below $60 per barrel.
Fourth: Encouraging Iraqis not to care about work and rely on cash subsidies, noting that not a small part does not deserve such subsidies, and the evidence for this is the Ministry of Labor's refusal of the applications of more than 900,000 people who are not eligible to obtain these subsidies.
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