The government of Egypt – which remains the target of continued violence from protesters seeking to remove the regime’s head, President Hosni Mubarak, has approved a 15 percent pay hike for government employees – no doubt to appease the concerns of its base of support.
The newly-appointed Finance Minister Samir Radwan said about 6.5 billion Egyptian pounds (or $960 million) will be reserved to cover the increased salary and pension expenditures, which will take effect in April.
The country has 6-million state workers.
However, the pay raise and other promises to probe official corruption and election fraud – as well as the unprecedented decision by Vice President Omar Suleiman to meet with several opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood -- has done little to quell the still-huge tide of discontent among the Egyptian public.
We don't trust [Mubarak] and he's a liar -- he's made many promises in the past, Salih Abdel-Aziz, an engineer with a public sector company, told the press. He could raise it 65 percent and we wouldn't believe him. As long as Mubarak is in charge then all of these are brittle decisions that can break at any moment.
Mubarak had raised the salaries of state workers by 30 percent back in 2008 during a period of unrest in public sector factories.