Largest Urgent Social Protection Package: Sisi Raises Minimum Wages and Pensions

egypt Wed, Feb. 7, 2024
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has instructed the raising of minimum wages by 50 percent, reaching LE 6,000 starting from March, as part of an urgent social protection package.

The Presidency announced the details of the social protection package in a statement after a meeting for the president with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait on Wednesday.

The government has been directed to increase the monthly salaries of state workers and employees of economic bodies by at least LE 1,000-1,200, depending on their job grade.

Described as the "largest urgent social protection package," this initiative has a value of LE 180 billion, according to the Egyptian Presidency.

The social package includes a 15 percent increase in pensions for 13 million citizens, amounting to a total cost of LE 74 billion.

Additionally, there will be a 15 percent increase in pensions for the social protection program known as "Takaful and Karama," costing LE 5.5 billion. A total of LE 41 billion will be allocated for "Takaful and Karama" pensions in the fiscal year 2024/2025.

To support state employees, the tax exemption threshold will be raised by 33 percent for employees in the government, public, and private sectors, increasing it to LE 60,000 instead of LE 45,000.

The social package also includes an allocation of LE 15 billion for salary increases for doctors, nurses, teachers, and university staff.

Teachers in pre-university education will see a raise ranging from LE 325 to 475. Medical and nursing professionals will receive raises in risk allowances ranging from LE 250 to 300, along with an increase of up to 100 percent in night shift and accommodation allowances.

Additionally, there will be raises for faculty members and their assistants at universities, institutes and research centers.

President Sisi has allocated LE 6 billion to appoint 120,000 medical professionals, teachers, and employees in other administrative entities.

This decision by the president comes at a time of rising commodity prices and increased burdens on citizens due to the global economic crisis. Market experts attribute the continuous increase in commodity prices to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar in the parallel market, as the country faces a foreign currency shortage.