Mahlab’s pension increase sparks doubts
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab - YOUM7 (Archive)
By MUHAMMAD GHAMRAWY

CAIRO: The recently-inaugurated Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab issued a decision on Monday to raise monthly social pension rates.

The new pension will be a 323 EGP (U.S. $46.41) per capita, 360EGP ($51.72) for two individuals, 413EGP ($59.34) for three individuals, and 450 EGP ($64.65) for four family members, according to the official state newspaper.

The newspaper said the decision was issued after reviewing the constitution and the 2010 social insurance law.

About 1.5 million Egyptians currently receive the monthly social pension, said Minister of Solidarity Ghada Waly on March 9 to CBC channel.

Minister Waly said that the ministry has plans to alleviate poverty in Egypt, adding there must be a complete database for personal incomes.

According to economic expert Aala Abdel Haleem, the decision to raise the pension was not only made “to support the neediest factions in Egypt” but was also a political move. Abdel Haleem told The Cairo Post that the rise is also part of a government beautification process that would “support the government in achieving stability and support Field Marshal Abdel Fatah el-Sisi.”

Abdel Haleem said the increase was only symbolic and does not effect real change, but it would limit people’s anger against the government.

“Of course there are political reasons for the decision,” Abdel Haleem said, “but it’s the most that the government can do because it is dealing with several problems.”

He added that the government is trying to have more of a social role in the hopes to avoid public criticism.

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