From Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iran Business News.
Amid speculation about an increase in gasoline prices in Iran, reports of a 70% surge in the salaries of parliament members have infuriated both public opinion and the media.
President Hassan Rouhani recently presented his budget bill to parliament for the next Iranian year (beginning in March) — a budget that faced serious criticism for dramatic increases in gasoline prices and the departure tax and a massive cut in cash handouts, among other measures.
An Iranian under the name MohammadMoayer2 tweeted Dec. 19, “Why should the salary of incompetent parliament members surge [when] their services don’t increase?”
Another user identifying himself as Mostafa tweeted Dec. 20, “Now I don’t know why these parliament members [have decided] to increase their salary when they don’t need it [at all]. They spent at least millions [of tomans] to become candidates and then members of parliament.”
While a number of parliament members have denied reports of an impending salary surge, a few have confirmed it could take place and spoken in its favor.
On Dec. 18, deputy parliament Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian said, “The issue of a 70% increase in parliament members’ income has been discussed, but it hasn’t been passed yet.”
Pezeshkian, a Reformist, added, “I state clearly that the parliament member salary is less than the [salary] of their drivers … and I can prove this.”