Retirees Allowances Separated from their Salaries: What’s Next?

2020-01-26 - 12:13 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Retirees on January 20, 2020, were surprised that their main salaries were deposited without their "livelihood improvement" and "social" allowances and without the set annual bonus of 3%, which sparked public concern. Some banks witnessed long queues of retirees waiting to inquire about their incomplete salaries.

An official source explained that "the reason for not disbursing the allowances with the salaries is due to reasons not related to the General Authority for Social Insurance, as these matters fall under the Finance and Economy Ministry's specialization." The source added that "the Ministry of Finance and Economy plans to disburse all the bonus package on the 15th of every month, but a technical error occurred and the payment of the allowance was postponed until January 15."

However, citizens who have not been able to understand the underlying cause of this measure are worried and believe that there is an ulterior goal to reduce the amount of allowances in the coming years, and that the separation is only a preliminary step in this direction.

Bahrainis are now absolutely certain that any action taken by the government only comes in the direction of further crushing the already oppressed citizens, a situation which they have become accustomed to in recent years. They no longer have confidence that any of these measures are in the interest of citizens or support their deteriorating financial situation.

"Today the retirees' allowance has been separated from the pension. This is an introduction to the re-engineering of all forms of support and bonuses within two years, because it [the government] will not reach the point of ‘fiscal balance' that it promised donors to achieve by 2022 without a significant reduction in expenditures and subsidies," opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif tweeted, adding that "the parliament is incapable of preventing this calamity."

For his part, journalist Kassim Hussain wrote: "Such decisions inevitably impoverish citizens... Especially retirees... Thousands of citizens who retired early last year after unreal temptations from the government will be affected. What the government offers with its left hand, it takes back with its right hand."

"Not paying the livelihood improvement allowance to retirees is the first step in preparation for its individual disbursement and then, under the guise of rescheduling, it will be reduced and therefore the salaries of retirees will be reduced indirectly. The disregard for the livelihood of citizens and waste in other areas cannot get any worse than this!," tweeted prominent figure Fadhel Abbas.

Another wrote: "This step-by-step approach, de facto policy, is a bold step to get pensioners used to receiving their pension salary incomplete without any allowances and therefore one will have the right to receive their salary only. [They will then tell citizens] Why are you asking for something that is not your right?"

Also Khalid Al-Khayat commented on the issue saying: "I have been trying to call the Public Authority for Social Insurance for more than two hours, but to no avail! Their phone is not working or has been closed to prevent retirees from inquiring about their salaries which have been transferred today incomplete!! The question is: Who gave the right to take this measure that took place today?"


Arabic Version