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Combined Salaries of Lebanon’s President, Speaker & PM Drop Below $1,000

Combined Salaries of Lebanon’s President, Speaker & PM Drop Below $1,000

Friday, 23 September, 2022 - 09:00
Lebanese President Michel Aoun holding a meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Baabda last August (Dalati & Nohra)

The financial and economic collapse sweeping Lebanon has managed to drastically change the lifestyle of many Lebanese as it continues to threaten stability in the country.

Since 2019, the Lebanese pound has shed more than 90% of its value, dropping from an exchange rate of 1,505 pounds to the dollar to a staggering 37,800 pounds.

With the improvement of the incomes of some private sector employees, public sector staff remained the most affected by this crisis.

Many experts believe that the 2017 increase in the wages of civil servants was a major cause of Lebanon’s financial collapse today. The hike had doubled costs more than once to an already exhausted treasury.

Naturally, senior state officials were also affected by the collapse. Their salaries were virtually turned into crumbs.

The highest paycheck, which stands at about $330, goes to the country’s president.

Meanwhile, soldiers in the army and security officers are getting paid as little as $60 a month.

Even though the value of salaries has shrunk across the board, not all civil servants are suffering the same way.

No significant decline has been registered in terms of services offered to senior government officials, despite the low value of the operational budgets of state institutions.

Nevertheless, the financial and economic crisis had taken its toll on the parliament building, where lawmakers were unable to hold some sessions due to power outages.

Moreover, electricity is being rationed at the prime minister’s office.

Muhammad Shamseddine, a researcher at the Beirut-based consultancy firm “Information International,” confirmed that the crisis did not affect the lifestyle enjoyed by the president, speaker of parliament and prime minister.

Additionally, Shamseddine pointed out that the life standards of leaders in security services had also remained the same.

However, the crisis has overwhelmed the lifestyle of employees, officers and judges, whose salaries became frighteningly low.

The basic salary of the president is 4.5 million pounds. Presidents also receive a similar amount as a “representation allowance” and 3.5 million pounds in “honorary” compensations.

This brings the total to 12.5 million pounds. At the end of 2019, this amount equaled around $8,300. Today, it equals around $330 according to the black-market dollar exchange rate on Thursday afternoon.

As for the speaker of parliament and prime minister, they each receive a total of 11.825 million pounds (around $312).

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