Leaders of leftist parties have criticized Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy for now saying the government would not raise the minimum wage at this stage because the budget does not allow it, considering him to have reneged on his promise.
They said the government had promised to rationalize spending and lay off thousands of highly-paid advisers to raise the minimum wage.
“This is a breach of the revolution’s call for social justice,” said Abdel Ghaffar Shokr, leader of the Socialist Alliance Party, warning of a wave of protests if the minimum wage is not raised.
“The government can raise taxes, rationalize spending or set a maximum wage,” he added. “This would contribute significantly to social justice.”
Majdi Sharabeya, secretary general of the Tagammu Party, said the government should get rid of the advisers. “If we set a maximum wage of LE50,000 we would save billions for the low-income brackets,” he said. “A minimum wage of LE1200 is not a big deal.”
Kamal Khalil, head of the Labour Party, said the government does not consider social justice a priority.
Mohamed al-Ashkar, general coordinator of the Kefaya Movement, accused the government of being right-wing and bureaucratic.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm