The Jordanian public servants’ salaries increase to 48.3% of public expenditures in the budget leaves several risks.
Jordan Strategy Forum warned of the risks arising from the public servants’ high salaries.
On the other hand, officials and experts believe that reducing the salaries of workers in any way or dispensing a number of workers in the public sector entails major problems for the national economy.
Jordanian public servants’ salaries
Although the government is the biggest employer for Jordanians, it drew up a plan several years ago that reduced appointments in various ministries and government institutions. The plan increased unemployment to about 25%, according to the latest official data.
The head of the Civil Service Bureau, Sameh Al-Nasser, said that 219,000 employees work for the government apparatus in 99 departments, including 3,100 employees who has been in service for 28 years.
He pointed out that there are imbalances in the hierarchy, as the number of employees in the third category is 48,000, who are administrative, technical, professional and support services.
Education and health employees constitute 64% of the total number of employees in the government apparatus, and 2.9% is the ratio of employees to the population.
Jordan Strategy Forum stated that the high wage bill and the low levels of productivity associated with it indicate that the expansion of this item in public expenditures will exacerbate the existing economic challenges.
“There do not seem to be solutions on the horizon for this problem in light of the modest levels of growth, which are not expected to exceed 2.1% during 2021, according to the estimates of the International Monetary Fund,” the forum said.
According to Jordan’s budget for 2021, salaries and wages allocations amount to about $6.2 billion, compared to $5.8 billion for the current year 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Muhammad Al-Issas, believes that laying off employees, reducing their salaries, or reducing capital spending will exacerbate the economic and social challenge.
Economic expert, Mazen Marji, said that the salaries of workers in the government apparatus account for about half of the public expenditures, which is one of the main factors in the increase in the budget deficit each year.
The government is the largest employer of manpower, against the decline in the private sector’s ability to operate as required, especially since the majority of its workers are expatriates whose number exceeds more than a million workers of various nationalities.