How Poor Will You Be This Time Next Year?

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 deputies’ 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?


  • The situation is becoming even harder. We need management, a wise one… Enough lying, enough saying that we are in a great shape, enough pretending as the greatest nation on earth, enough……………………………… I’m really sick of all this. We all do… N5anagna ya a5y, bekaffy!!! What hurts more is that nobody is not doing nor saying nothing. I really don’t know what to say! Every time I try to start commenting on such thing, I feel like I need all world papers, so I stop. Why bother? Will it change anything? Or rather will it change EVRYTHING? Unfortunately it won’t.

    God bless Jordan.

  • P.S: Answering the question “How Poor Will You Be This Time Next Year?” I think the question should be rephrased to “Will You Be This Time Next Year?!”

  • I have warned all of you about the pathetic privatisation program before ,but nobody listen to me, and some even riduculed me,I just have one question for all the “free” market economy enthusiasts ,do you like what see and how privatisation process has done to our poor segment of our majority? Enjoy

  • Don’t blame the free market economy, blame the lame corrupt system that abuses every aspect of our lifes…
    Anywho allah y3een el nas(including you nas)!

    lets give it one ya3eesh ya3eesh ya3eesh 3shan el shabab el 6aybbeh!

  • Mohannad,,,,,The “free” market is corruption by and it’s self,,all our assets has been sold to the same corrupt high official that advocated the selling of our national assets..Enjoy

  • Nas,
    Government should start building more prisons, for all of those who will be willing to steal so their children won’t go to bed cold and hungry.
    35% of Jordanians live below poverty level, yet Fahad Alfanek is warning of the return of the welfare state, as if our beloved government is giving hands outs all year long.
    Most decision makers in Jordan lost touch with reality, they live in western Amman and thats all they see, I know people in the Jordan valley live on bread and tea if they can find it, I have seen kids wait in line at chicken shops to take home the intestines and legs to have a meal, yes sir they do, those people eat red meat once or twice a year.
    What will happen to those people? what will happen to those who wonder why they exisited in the first place? what will happen to those who get their daily meal out of gabage dumbsters evry day?
    A human can only tolerates so much, and we have become a society of sheeps, and we are so grateful to the government for allowing us to breath free oxygin before they start charging us for it.

  • When the ‘meat of the poor,’ brown ‘addas to make m’jederah, rose from 35 qirsh a kilo to one JD, I thought, “It can’t get worse than this.”

    Now I can barely buy a small chicken for under 3 JD in most parts of the city. The melancholy chime of the gas truck is truly carrying a sad tune to our homes; within a week we will be paying 9.90 JD for one propane tank, a more than double increase. This is pure insanity. We have not used the diesel fuel to heat our home this year because we knew that the sobah was a cheaper alternative. Now there are no cheaper alternatives, and the electric company is sitting with hands clasped in greed, waiting for all of us suckers to drive up our electric bills threefold for the remainder of the winter season.

    I honestly cannot understand how this can continue.

    But hey, we’ve got two super duper new bridges on Madina Tabiyyah and some really lame looking towers we can see from Mt. Nebo at the fifth circle. Yiptee doooo.

  • Salaam ‘Alaikum

    I don’t know how people are making it, I really don’t. I don’t know how those of us who don’t make 600 or 700 or more per month are living. Because even if your income is at that level or higher, it’s a challenge. I never thought I would come to a country where the cost of living is so much lower than NYC and find myself saying, “This costs how much???” when I look at meat or chicken.

  • I have a scenario in mind which I think will take place when they raise oil derivatives price. Our King Abdallah 2nd will make a statement ordering responsible parties to reduce prices by let’s say 10% of the increased price! Assuming they will increase jarret elghaz to JOD 9.90, King Abdallah 2nd will order to reduce the price to JOD 8 or something! Don’t be so pessimistic guys; we have someone still defending us 🙂 LOL!

  • This is so disheartening. Speaking to my grandparents in Jordan, I can sense the frustration about all these price increases. They are middle class Jordanians, with sons working in the Gulf who are well off and supporting them financially, and somehow it’s just never enough because one can’t keep up with ever increasing costs. I can’t imagine how thousands of others without this kind of support to fall back on are living and dealing with the cold winter and other concerns.
    Nas, it would be great if you could highlight this issue (esp with regards to people not affording heating in the winter) on or something like that. I really am curious to see how people in the poorest villages are able to get through this crisis. May God help them.

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