Indicators of popular anger have been rising inside Iran for years due to the continuous decline in the standard of living, represented in the intensification of labor protests, whether in governmental or non-governmental institutions, as well as by teachers who have been continuing protests for weeks, with thousands participating in more than a hundred cities to protest against the slow implementation of wage and pension reforms.

Budget crisis

The new Iranian budget has caused anger among government workers, as a number of workers in government institutions and companies participated in a sit-down in front of the parliament on Wednesday, February 23, in conjunction with the review of the draft budget law. The protesters expressed their rejection of the system for calculating next year’s salary increase from March 21, 2022 to March 20, 2023.

The protests demanded the necessity of approving an increase in line with the minimum requirements of the household, especially since workers subject to the labor law in government institutions had previously enjoyed an increase in annual salaries that was approved by the Supreme Council of Employment.

Workers’ representatives in the council confirmed that the minimum wage for workers for the next year should be 8,979 thousand tomans (approximately $200), on the basis of the subsistence basket, which is not achieved in the new budget, as these workers are scheduled to receive a wage increase of only 10%, and the increase in wages approved by the Supreme Council is suspended.

The new budget’s ignoring the demands of government workers coincides with the approval of a significant increase for other categories, led by the Revolutionary Guards and the state media, where the budget of the Revolutionary Guards witnessed a 58% increase from 38,564 billion tomans to 93,000 billion tomans, while the budget of the Revolutionary Guards last year amounted to about 24,335 billion tomans before being increased to 38,564 billion tomans.

The Radio and Television Corporation also received a significant increase in the new budget, as 5.289 billion tomans were allocated, at a time when the government of former President Hassan Rouhani allocated 3.384 billion tomans in the current year’s budget, which indicates that the budget of this government media apparatus will acquire a 56% increase next year.

Brink of explosion

Discrimination in the new budget comes to limited groups at the expense of most other groups, despite leaks indicating the escalation of anger and resentment in Iran.

A document leaked by a group of hackers called Adalat Ali in early February from a meeting held in November 2021 headed by the deputy commander of the Tharallah Division, Brigadier General Hossein Nejati, who is responsible for overseeing the security situation in the Iranian capital, and in the presence of representatives of the Revolutionary Guards, intelligence agencies and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran, warned of the repercussions of the unprecedented economic crisis, which caused the escalation of resentment within Iran by 300% and brought society to the brink of explosion, as well as the real rate of inflation of basic food prices last November, which ranged between 86% and 268%, leading to a decrease in the purchasing power of the Iranian citizen such that Iranians are no longer able to bear the costs of these types of vital goods.

The document also revealed the expansion of protests and the increase in the number of participants in these demonstrations, as one of the officials of the Iranian Intelligence and Public Security Police indicated that the protests organized in Iran during the past Iranian year increased by 50%, while the number of demonstrators who participated in them doubled.

Source » theportal-center