On Thursday, the Council of Ministers approved an increase in the minimum wage in the private sector to LBP 18 million, as well as a 100% increase in school allowances. Thus, the minimum wage rises from LBP 9 to 18 million, fully declared to the National Social Security Fund and integrated into the basic salary.

Regarding school allowances, for employees’ children attending public schools, the amount per pupil (up to four) is now LBP 4 million. The school allowance for pupils enrolled in private schools will rise from LBP 6 million to 12 million for the 2024-2025 school year.

Commenting on this decision on the MTV television channel, Bechara Asmar, President of the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers (CGTL), said that “the LBP 18 million is part of the basic salary, which should be around LBP 50 million.” In this respect, he stressed that “given the high cost of living, a family cannot live on LBP 18 million and 9 million as travel expenses.”

Asmar recalled that in 2019, before the crisis, the minimum wage was $450, whereas today, with transport expenses, it is close to $300.

He stressed that this decision by the Council of Ministers “is a step in an ongoing dialogue aimed at restoring the true value of wages.” In his view, this requires “security calm” and “political calm, which would be reflected in the economy.” This is not currently the case in Lebanon, with hostilities dating back to October 8 between Hezbollah and Israel on the country’s southern border, but also in the absence of a head of state.

Asmar also announced that the CGTL had agreed with economic bodies to resume dialogue, with a view to reaching a new minimum wage, as soon as the security situation in the South stabilizes.