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Cost of living raises for Gaza Strip and West Bank.

PNN exclusive / Ali Samoudi -- Prices are spiraling out of control with families unable to keep up. The unions are trying to take care of the workers they represent, but the Palestinian economy was struggling under closure and occupation long before the global market failure that became pronounced in 2008. Bassam Zakarneh delivered good news to public sector employees today, including civil service and military personnel. The Palestinian Ministry of Finance will issue January payments on Sunday and within them will be a cost of living increase."Based on an agreement with the Government and the Ministry of Finance, salaries will be disbursed for the first time since beginning the national application of the Law of Civil Service with cost of living raises included for the month," the head of the Union of Civil Service announced.The new law is considered a "great achievement" for cooperation and coordination between the government and trade unions. The cost of living index is being applied based on standards created by information gathered by the Statistics Bureau regarding the amount paid for food per family per month.The union leader also appealed to the government to pay the people of the Gaza Strip prior to Sunday in preparation for the very real possibility that Israeli forces will undertake a new wave of major attacks. Zakarneh also urged the Monetary Authority to make every effort in assuring that banks are able to pay salaries in the Strip. During the closure that preceded the January attacks several bank branches closed due to a lack of cash. Liquidity was also a major obstacle for the operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Its Gaza spokesperson Adnan Abu Hasna told PNN at the time that the UNRWA did not have the shekel to give to refugee school children for lunch.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Date:Feb 4, 2009
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