Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is seen during a public speech in the southern Hormozgan province, Iran, February 17, 2019.
(photo credit: IRANIAN PRESIDENCY WEBSITE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has promised to increase the salaries of public servants in the country with the start of the Persian calendar on Thursday.
According to Radio Farda, the announcement was unexpected, as earlier this month the Iranian government said it was unsure about whether or not salaries would be raised because "raising salaries and wages is a decision made by the parliament and the government does not have the authority to dismiss the legislature’s decision.”
Rouhani announced that they would be raising the minimum monthly wage from the equivalent of NIS 325 to NIS 505. The cost of living per month for the average Iranian family is equivalent to about NIS 1,010, which means if there is only one breadwinner in the family, they will still be short another NIS 505 just to cover their basic needs, not to mention that Iran's inflation is skyrocketing.
Radio Farda reported that "with food prices rising at a double-digit monthly rate in recent months, rising costs have put even more pressure on the household budgets of Iranians living on the minimum wage."
This has led to sporadic protests, which have been linked to the tough economic situation and have been led by truck drivers, farmers, workers, merchants and teachers, occasionally resulting in violent confrontations with security forces.
Iran's economy has faced instability in recent months with the national currency, the rial, fluctuating in value, making it difficult for ordinary people to make ends meet.
It has been predicted that least 8% economic growth is needed to reduce unemployment woes, and "such growth has not materialized," according to Radio Farda.
Zachary Keyser contributed to this report.
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