KDP MP speculates KRG can reduce salary cuts if Baghdad transfers continue

Flags of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region (File)

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SULAIMANI — Deputy Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) caucus in Iraq’s Council of Representatives Bashar Kiki said on Tuesday (July 20) that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) "wants to end cuts” to public sector salaries in either July or August, after missing monthly payments or slashing disbursements since March 2020.

During an appearance on NRT’s Tawtwe interview program, Kiki speculated that if Baghdad continues to send monthly cash transfers of 200 billion Iraqi dinars ($137 million) then the cuts can be reduced, but cautioned that the transfers are a stipend that can be suspended and not the Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget.

He noted that the 2021 Federal Budget Law has not been fully implemented and some Iraqi political parties continue to oppose provisions related to the Region.

During 2020, the KRG struggled to pay salaries to its public sector workers, missing five monthly disbursements entirely and cutting four others by nearly a quarter. Government employees have had their pay cut by twenty-one percent each month so far this year.

The salary cuts have had a significant effect on the economy of the Kurdistan Region because of the KRG’s role as the Region’s most important employer.

Regarding the withdrawal of the Sadrist Movement from federal parliamentary elections scheduled for October, Kiki said that he has doubts about the announcement and believes it to be a political ploy.

The KDP and the Sadrists are working to develop a strong working relationship that can be implemented following the election.

(NRT Digital Media)