English

Where Are The Alleged Development Revenues? Prices Are Scorching The Poor And The Minister Declares Misleading Indicators

Cairo, 31/7/2010

The minister of economic development is continuing to declare incorrect statements. On 30/7/2010, he announced economic development indicators alleging higher growth rates and lower unemployment rates leading to a decrement in the percent of the poor.

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights confirms the deteriorating economic and social conditions. The Egyptian citizen is suffering more and more each day and the indicators stated by the minister are deceptive and do not reflect reality in any way.

Unemployment rates have decremented temporarily due to the economic stimulus plan. By this plan, the government spent EGP 13 billions mainly in the infrastructure sector and provided new openings however temporary, as they will end with project completion. In addition, those jobs lack safe work conditions, medical insurance and have very low pay.

Therefore, the decreasing unemployment rate that the minister is bragging about is coupled to low grade jobs, project contracts and do manifest an enhancement in the labor market in Egypt. Unemployment rates will increase again once the projects are completed and labor is spared. The minister tried to prepare the public opinion to this increase, mentioning the elections as an excuse.  The minister is concealing the truth which is that the government is compelled to implement more stimulus plans and pump in more funds, a promise which the minister cannot keep, so he mentioned the probability of unemployment rates rising once more for allegedly elections and the related political atmosphere.

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights states that the registered labor in the private sector which the nearest measure to reality is not growing fast enough to cover the shortage in public sector good-pay jobs. As a result, those young people, according to the minister indicators are not classified as unemployed in labor statistics and so the retreat in unemployment rates is illusive.

Leaving young Egyptians in a temporary job state or to find jobs in Egypt’s unofficial economic realm which is steadily expanding , does not pull citizens away from the poverty circle.

On the other side, although the government is stalling on implementing the minimum wage court ruling under the pretext of evading rising prices and compromising the public demand  for a 10% salary raise, we find the prices had already risen  only to maximize the citizens’ suffering as follows :

Item Price in EGP before raise  / Kg Price in EGP after raise  / Kg %
Beans 3.5 4.5 7.32
Rice 1.8 3.5 94.9
Kidney Beans 7 8 4.12
Cowpea 7 8 4.12
Pasta 2.5 3 20
Fish 7.5 11 46.2
Veal 30 38 25.7
Chicken 11.5 17 51.1
Chicken parts (drums, breast, liver) 15 23 54
Grapes 2 6.5 150
Mango 4 9 130
Cantaloupe 0.75 2 140

In addition, public services rates have increased (electricity, water, landlines, natural gas and transportations) between 22% and 25%. On the other hand average monthly pay in Egypt is EGP 500 which means that the salary is decreasing contrary to the minister statements which ignore the fact that development revenues are enjoyed by a minority of monopolist entrepreneurs and the poor make no use of them. The middle class as well is on the verge of slipping into the poverty pit because of the uncontrolled, striking increase in prices and the disproportion with per capita income.