GFBTU Calls for Social Dialogue to Face High Prices, Inflation
2022-07-30 - 12:46 p
Bahrain Mirror: The General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions (GFBTU) called to launch a social dialogue to discuss wage policies, social benefits and tax policies taking into account the living conditions of citizens.
"Bahrain has recently experienced a large-scale wave of inflation which particularly affected the essential materials of citizens' livelihood," the union said in a statement.
It said "Failure to address inflation would have serious implications on people's lives and lifestyles."
"The disadvantages and risks of the floating wage policy, which is not based on international standards and on minimum wage, started to be revealed in light of the wave of price hikes, calling for the activation of the decent work program signed by the Government of Bahrain with the International Labor Organization which guarantees fair wages and lives for all employees."
The union renewed its call for the establishment of a three-representative high wage council to be responsible for the periodic review of wages according to the economic and living developments in the country, on top the waves of inflation and high prices, pointing out that the minimum wage must be 700 dinars to meet the cost of living.
It further added "The decisions taken successively in recent years to lift subsidies on essential materials such as electricity, fuel and meat, the introduction of VAT and increasing it to 10%, in addition to the negative effects of the war in Ukraine have eroded the purchasing power of citizens and made them unable to meet their livelihood essential needs.
The union noted the importance of the government providing financial packages supporting Bahraini families, including legal exemptions from electricity bills and municipal fees that are burdening citizens, as well as increasing the high cost of living allowance until we overcome the current crisis.
It stressed the need to direct part of the surpluses of oil and gas revenues to cover these financial packages, calling for the speedy replacement of unemployed citizens in value-added jobs in the public and private sectors and the cessation of VAT.
The GFBTU went on to say that the tax had been introduced to fill the fiscal deficit resulting from the lower price of oil barrel than the target price of $50, indicating that the tax should be stopped because the price of oil barrel exceeds 100$ now .