Despite high inflation Egypt’s Senate refuses to raise employee bonuses

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The Egyptian Senate, during its discussion of the new labour bill submitted by the government, has rejected a proposal to maintain an annual bonus of seven per cent of the basic wage for employees, and kept the proposed government percentage of three per cent of the insurance wage. Minister of Manpower, Muhammad Saafan, defended the text and the decision to keep the percentage as it is.

Representative of the parliamentary body of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Mahmoud Sami, objected to the percentage mentioned in the draft law, and submitted a proposal to maintain the percentage of seven per cent. Sami cited the high inflation rate, which the government expected to reach seven per cent in 2021, but it exceeded expectations and reached 8.5 per cent. He also referred to the recent decisions to increase the prices of some food commodities, such as oil and sugar.

“The law must include benefits for private sector employees to stop reverse migration from the private sector to the public sector. Employees in the private sector do not feel secure,” said the senator, objecting to the percentage proposed by the government.

A few days ago, the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade raised the prices of six commodities on ration cards: sugar, pasta, lentils, cheese, industrial margarine and washing powder. Four commodities were also removed from the cards: matches, tahini, chicken stock and cappuccino.

The Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Ali Al-Moselhi, also announced that a gradual lifting of subsidies on bread is currently being studied, in addition to stopping the granting of ration cards to replace damaged and lost ones, which means that the owners of these cards will not receive subsidised goods, at least for a while.