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Rudaw

Iraq

Iraqi parliament passes budget measures for KRG salaries, Peshmerga

By Rudaw 23/1/2019
Kurdistan Region lawmakers in Baghdad deliver a statement to media after voting on the budget. Photo: Rudaw
Kurdistan Region lawmakers in Baghdad deliver a statement to media after voting on the budget. Photo: Rudaw
BAGHDAD – Iraq’s parliament have passed a measure in the 2019 budget bill that guarantees Baghdad will pay the salaries of the state employees in the Kurdistan Region and the Peshmerga.

"We are announcing good news for the Kurdistan Region civil servants and Peshmerga soldiers,” lawmakers from the Kurdistan Region bloc in the Iraqi parliament announced in a statement to media immediately after the vote. 

“Today we managed to guarantee their salaries in the budget very successfully. A portion of the amount earmarked to the Defence Ministry of Iraq will go to the Peshmerga," the stated. 

"Therefore, from now on, Kurdistan Region [state] employees will receive their salaries every month and it will help put an end to the salary saving system that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) implemented."

Related: Kurds finally happy with Iraqi budget; vote expected today

In 2014, faced with a financial crisis caused by a budget cut from Baghdad, falling oil prices, a costly war with ISIS, and hosting nearly 2 million displaced Iraqis, the KRG introduced a salary saving scheme. 

The wildly unpopular measure slashed the salaries of state employees and delayed payments for months at a time. 

Fed up with the austerity, public sector employees, mainly in Sulaimani, staged protests and strikes in early 2018. 

The KRG reviewed its payroll list – removing thousands of ghost employees – and stepped up negotiations with Baghdad to restore payments from federal coffers. 

Negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad have improved with the new Iraqi government. 

The amount of money agreed on in the budget “is enough for the KRG to end the saving system and return the money that was saved to the employees, through installments," said Rebwar Karim Wali, a Kurdish MP in Baghdad.

The budget also includes funds for ISIS war victims, including the families of 1,800 Peshmerga who were killed in the war with terror group and the 10,000 wounded. The amount each family and victim will receive was not specified. 

Voting on the rest of the budget bill continues. 

Comments

 
Kale | 23/1/2019
Good news and whenever Baghdad commits to the constitution Kurds will reciprocate twice but the real question is if this is a tactic for the new Iraqi government to win Kurdish support temporally like they did back in 2004-2007 or is this a genuine desire by Baghdad to settle outstanding issues with KRG? If they have any brains they would use this momentum and hold the agreed upon census and referendum in the disputed territories and come to some agreement on the oil export issue and settle Baghdad-Erbil issues once and for all.
Pir Magroon | 23/1/2019
We've seen this movie before, Iran instructs Baghdad to make concessions to Kurds because they need a stable Kurdistan region to do business with, because of the sanctions and all that. The minuet the Iranians don't need that anymore Baghdad will magically make all kind of excuses to destroy every promise and deal they've made and signed. Kurds cannot afford to say no of course and as usuall the Americans and all others are clueless as to waht's really going on.
Gshsh | 24/1/2019
Oh ok then why were the salaries cut AGAIN this month and were late two weeks, we can’t live on this shit !

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