A special commission will be in charge of monitoring and setting prices of fuel derivatives on monthly basis after oil subsidies are lifted next year, officials said…The government plans to lift oil subsidies totally in 2008. The exact date of the measure has not yet been decided, but the 2008 state budget allocates no funds for these subsidies. [source]
The new economy-minded government is going to help us all out by telling us how much more we’ll be spending on filling our gas tanks every month. It’s part of a new initiative to let us all know how broke we’ll be in advance. Meanwhile, every time a new Minister of Energy comes on to the scene, we always seem to be filled with renewed promises of energy relief. Oil shale, wind, solar, nuclear. Jordan will be producing all of it in just a few more years. So, you know, hang in there.
Elsewhere, the new parliament, to commemorate their first monthly paycheck, have just discovered that prices seem to be rising in the country unchecked. So, accordingly, they’ve called for a session to discuss the matter.
Lawmakers on Wednesday agreed to hold a special session next month to discuss economic conditions and possible measures to combat rising prices. During a three-hour session, deputies insisted that a discussion on the economy be held before any deliberations are made on the draft fiscal budget for 2008, which is slated for the end of January
…However, the outcome of the session will unlikely affect the deputiesâ€™ vote on the draft budget, which will see the government lift subsidies on fuel and other commodities. Many analysts believe the move will prompt further price hikes nationwide. [source]
Not to worry, the government and parliament will work together to unleash their economic fists of fury on the spiraling inflation. The first weapon in their arsenal is resorting to the ancient practice of lifting subsidies and paying public servants more.
The salaries of civil servants, army personnel, school teachers, judges, public university faculty as well as pensioners will be raised to offset the subsequent increase in the cost of living. Civil servant and military personnel salaries will be linked to the rate of inflation, said the minister, noting that financial assistance will be higher for those who earn JD300 or less a month. Retired civil servants and military personnel will also receive the inflation-pegged pay raise and a bonus, while allowances dispersed to National Aid Fund beneficiaries will be raised by JD10 a month, he added.
Moreover, citizens with a per capita income less than JD1,000 a year will be provided with cash assistance and health insurance coverage. The minister, however, did not say how much assistance will be provided or through what mechanism.
And this comes in addition to a proposed JD301 million social safety net.
It’s all great news.
And although I hate playing the cynic I’m left to ask the obvious question: where will they get all the money from?