Home > Archive >Iraq's $1,ooo,ooo per Month Man
Author:written by F. Jawad posted by jc
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Sat, Apr 23rd, 2005 07:49:32 PM
Topic: Iraq's $1,ooo,ooo per Month Man

In its first move to monitor government activities, the newly elected parliament has signaled it would support a resolution under which the public should know about salaries of senior officials.

The move comes amid rumors that senior Iraqi officials are on massive monthly salaries of which the Iraqi people are kept in the dark.

The president, for example, is reported to be on one million dollar salary a month.

The motion before the parliament calls for all government officials including the president, the prime minister and their deputies as well as other senior aides to declare the income before assuming office.

Reports that the president gets $1 million a month and that his deputies and the prime minister are on half a million dollar monthly salary each have stunned Iraqis.

A presidential source, refusing to be named, said the allocations were for “offices and other expense” like travel and wages for employees working for the president.

However, a senior official from the ruling Shiaa United Alliance did not deny or confirm the reports.

“I cannot deny or confirm what is going on regarding this point, but I think it is very necessary for the government to adopt transparency in this matter,” the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

He said the government was confusing the public and losing trust by “failing to openly deny such reports.”

It is not clear when the parliament will pass the resolution, which will be its first since the elections in January.

Iraqis expect the legislators to crack down on rampant corruption in government ranks.

An Iraqi economist, who also did not want his name be revealed, said if confirmed true it would make the gap between minimum and highest wages in Iraq the largest in the world.

“If this is true, then the president’s salary will be 10,000 times that of pensioners who earn 100-200 dollars a month,” he said.

There are about one million pensioners in Iraq who on average support families of five to seven people.

This means the nearly 7 million Iraqis who rely on pensions for a living have to make ends meet with less than one dollar a day while the president gets $33,000 daily.

The economist said the alleged monthly salary of the president will be three times what the British prime minister earns in the whole year.

The British prime minister earns about $335,000 year, which is one third of what “our president allegedly gets in a month.”

While salaries in Britain, for example, are subject to 30-35% income tax, no government official in the country, no matter how much he gets, is known to be paying taxes.

The government has yet to introduce an effective tax system and charge for the public amenities it provides.

Two years after the fall of former leader Saddam Hussein, the government, still in disarray, has failed to collect electricity and water bills.

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