In response to the growing protests across the country, Iraq’s politicians promised to cut their salaries. This started on February 5, 2011 when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would cut his pay in half, and urged others to do the same. On February 20 however, parliament passed the 2011 budget, and only made a modest reduction in its salary along with those of ministers. Instead of the 40% cut that the cabinet proposed, parliament only voted for a 10% one that will save a modest $4.9 million, out of a total $82.6 billion spending bill. Parliamentarians make $11,000 a month, along with large benefits and expense accounts, which places them far above the average Iraqi. Demonstrators are demanding that they actually govern the country. This action shows that politicians are unwilling to take concrete steps to quell the growing anger in the streets.
Agence France Presse, “Iraq MPs pull back from drastic pay cuts,” 2/20/11
Karim, Ammar, "Iraq moves to head off demos as protesters killed," Agence France Presse, 2/21/11
McEvers, Kelly, “Iraqi Protestors Call For Better Jobs, Benefits,” NPR, 2/11/11
Al-Salhy, Suadad, “Iraqi lawmakers pass 2011 budget,” Reuters, 2/20/11
Tawfeeq, Mohammed, “Amid Egypt-inspired unrest, Iraqi prime minister cuts salary in half,” CNN, 2/5/11