The Palestinian Authority (PA) is second bottom of the fair income distribution list claims the Genie international website. "There is a huge imbalance in national income levels," it has alleged, "suggesting that there is little or no justice in how wealth is distributed among the people."
By way of example, Genie published the monthly salary of a Palestinian parliamentarian and the Palestinian Authority president, at $3,000 and $5,000 respectively, and compared it to the average individual income of less than $14,000 per annum.
Officials, it is claimed, also have generous perks and allowances. Salaries for official post-holders, including parliamentarians and ministers, continue to be paid at between 50 and 80 per cent of the full working level for life. This is despite the fact that the PA faces a budget deficit in excess of a billion US dollars and has had to borrow heavily from the banks in order to pay its employees. Critics of the PA describe it is a "profligate" organisation which has become a "pension fund" for its officials.
The PA's monthly budget is about $150 million, most of which goes on salaries. A similar amount is needed to pay for public services. The Ramallah-based PA prime minister has recently been on a tour of Western and other capitals to try to raise $550 million.