Kassioun Editorial 1096: What is Required is Increasing the Wages 12-Fold!

Kassioun Editorial 1096: What is Required is Increasing the Wages 12-Fold!

The issue of “cash allowance” is being raised again these days, which supposedly will be distributed in place of the subsidies. Meaning, subsidy policies will be completely and officially eliminated, not only through what has been done thus far in terms of decreasing subsidies in all sectors, but fully eliminating it.

Before discussing the value of the alleged cash allowance, it should be reaffirmed that even if that value is exactly equal to the value of the subsidy remainder, the continued inflation and increasing prices mean that the supposed allowance’s value will evaporate mere months after passing it.

The more important discussion should be focused on linking the minimum wage and its relationship to the standard of living. Whoever wants to lift subsidies must first solve the main problem, which the subsidy policy expresses: the problem of the inability of wages to cover families’ living expenses.

More concretely, according to Kassioun’s last quarterly indicator, the minimum cost of living for a family of 5 is 2,234,339 Syrian pounds (SYP), and the minimum wage is still around 93,000 SYP.

The minimum wage should cover the minimum cost of living, therefore, the average dependency level in a Syrian family should be determined, which is the number of individuals with income in a family of 5.

In Syria, this number was in 2010 around 1.4. Today, we can say that that number has increased due to the deteriorating conditions. So, it could be assumed that the dependency level in a family of 5 is 2 instead of 1.4. That is, on average, in each Syrian family, there are two individuals who work to be able to sustain a family of 5.

Therefore, the laws within which the minimum, median, and maximum wages should be calculated are as follows:

  • Minimum wage = Minimum cost of living for a family / dependency level
  • Median wage = Minimum wage X 3.5
  • Maximum wage = Minimum wage X 7

All these figures must be recalculated periodically (e.g., every three months) so that they are tied to the changing standard of living, that is, the change in prices. This means that wages should automatically change with changes in the cost of living.

Based on the current situation, the minimum wage should be 1,117,169 SYP; the median 3,910,093 SYP; and the maximum 7,820,186 SYP.

Determining the objective target of the wage scale so that it effectively guarantees the dignity of people, is an absolute necessity in any condition, and even more so in the current one. This is because this determination exposes the massive difference between the general rhetoric about how bad living conditions are and the need to improve them, and the bitter reality. It also exposes the reality of any talk about raising wages, not to mention clarifying the scale of the “cash allowance” tragedy instead of in-kind assistance, because what is required is achieving these figures and not offering symbolic donations intended to cover the continuation, deepening, and intensification of the process of plundering of the wage earners by the profiteers.

According to these figures, the required increase to the current minimum wage is 1,024,199 SYP, or in other words 12 times the current minimum wage. If someone asks how this much of an increase could be achieved? The answer is clear before everyone: the source is the bursting pockets of the profiteers. That is, increasing the wages should be a tool in redistributing wealth from the profiteers towards wage earners. The increase should also be a real from real sources, and certainly not an inflated increase through some financial games nor by printing more money.

It is abundantly clear that the upper hand within the existing system is not that of the wage earners, but that of the profiteers. It could only be expected of this system additional destruction of wage earners, their interests, and their livelihoods. Stopping this deterioration, including games like “cash allowance” and the like, has only one path, which is a comprehensive radical change starting with the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254.


(النسخة العربية)

Last modified on Sunday, 13 November 2022 19:00