Financial Crisis Continues But Jordanian Ministers Double Their Salaries

International markets took a huge plunge yesterday, with the Dow Jones hitting its lowest point since 1997. Everywhere, even here in Jordan, people are feeling the financial pinch. Jobs are being lost and those who still have them are fighting to keep them. Salary raises are almost out of the question.

Except in the Jordan government.

The latest reshuffled Dahabi cabinet – also hereby known as Dahabi 2.0 – which was ironically given the mandate to focus on the economy in the midst of the unfolding financial crisis, has just given its ministers a salary bump. In fact, the JD1,500 salary has been doubled to JD3,000 according to Arab Al-Yawm.

I’m praying this story isn’t true.

In these dire financial times that has engulfed the entire world, is it really too much to ask the government we never elected to show just a bit of empathy towards the people it supposed to be serving?

19 Comments

  • I think the salary raise for Minister is more justified than for Parliamentarians. Any executive manager in the private sector can get more than 1,500 JDs. Ministers work for a lot of hours but what is silly is the salary of the deputees who only work in 3 months in the year and even do not show up in sessions and committee meetings.

  • But doubling monthly salaries, Batir?! It seems extreme, especially given the present economic situation. A raise, you know, 10% or something, is feasible (although still a little on the distasteful side). And there are many, many people in JO who probably work just as many hours as a minister, and they’re lucky to get 3000 JD a YEAR.

  • On top of that, each new member of cabinet gets around 20,000 Jds (this is a mid 1990’s number. Its probably a lot more now) as a cost of living adjustment.

  • DOUBLED :S :S :S

    I heard a story of a CEO of some big company in Brazil,letting go of his salary if I’m not mistaken…
    and that’s private sector!just to show the people some support

    Action they teach us is louder than words…
    Action they show is us…is even to unclean to be written in words

  • I just wish some reporter would go around . Photograph all the ministers houses and put a report about each financial status. And publish it in a news paper. Then we would have a better perspective abt this.

    For the first time i wish we had some kind of paparazzi!

  • Hmm is this for sure? It hasn’t been reported in other newspapers. Even Ammon who would jump at stories like this have no mention of this..

  • in sweden, minimum wage accounts for 2100 jds per month… i think 3000 is a fair salary for an executive.. what worries me is the money they make under the table.

  • DOUBLED? what kind of raise is that? As Umm Daoud said a raise is like 10%. If this is true then it’s more like being given a second salary than a raise.

  • Farah: Ammon got it from arab il yawm. http://ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=34930
    ___________

    Yes, the public sector is generally paid lower, and most people who enter it, be it through getting hired (wasta) or by being appointed, know this to be a fact. When it comes to most ministers, I wont say all, but a very safe majority are already well-to-do, and if they’re not, they will be by the time they leave.

    So in other words, whatever salary they receive is purely of symbolic value.

    If this is the case we have to way the symbolism here, and that was the point of the post. It’s not whether they make enough or not, it’s about the symbolism of DOUBLING salaries in the midst of a financial crisis.

    It’s akin to past symbolic gestures such as giving away (or “upgrading”) the cars of ministers and MPs to BMW’s when 90% of Jordanians can barely afford to put fuel in their tanks.

    Symbolism matters.

  • I think the point that’s being missed isn’t whether 3,000JDs is “fair” in comparison to the private sector or not, but what kind of scrutiny ministers come under as public servants to ensure they earn it.

    Parliamentarians are, in theory at least, accountable to the public for their employment via the ballot box. In the current Jordanian system, ministers are simply appointed – and their performance depends on the whim of another set of unelected officials.

    It isn’t simply the salaries that are so offensive, but the complete absence of accountability to the public who pays them.

  • May be the salary was doubled because they are doing such a wonderful job! Our economy is not teetering on the brink of disaster (Ney, the expectation that growth will be halved this year, which justifies an increase only in Lala land); businesses are doing so well that the stock market has doubled in value (not true, more than halved this year alone); the real estate market is doing so great (no one can buy or sell property); banks have so much liquidity and not hoarding it (they claim they have no liquidity and our Central bank is doing nothing to increase liquidity); and water is not polluted (no explanation or negation warranted), and we don’t pay 182 type of tax (more are coming because the deficit is rising next year) and the government does not consume 60% of GDP (it does); public schools are a model to envy (Yeah!!); people do not attack physicians in public hospitals (only a few cases here and there but we stopped them since we increased penalties upon the attackers, the patients be damned) and our great projects have finally taken off (just read the newspapers).

    Who works for the other, the people or the government? Obviously they work for us because we have voted this salary increase when we voted them into office.

    We are so happy with the public sector that we made the average salary of a public sector employee almost a JD100 higher than that of the salary of an employee in the private sector, so why not double the salaries of ministers, and of the over 800 ex ministers (they only cost around JD10 million per year, and some of them are so young…and, luckily, they are very rich so they don’t really need it). And yes the government employs the most capable, not the “yes” men and women that we see on TV (if you believe that let me try to sell you this piece of land). Hallelujah…there is more to come…

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