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Palestinian government to adopt austerity measures

The Palestinian unity government announced in its weekly meeting yesterday that it will adopt a plan for austerity and cutting down on the consumption of public resources.

In a statement issued after the meeting, members said they plan to adopt austerity measures in an attempt to overcome the financial crisis that the Palestinian government is currently facing, in addition to continuing with "the reform process based on transparency and integrity".

"We will continue to widen the base of revenues and cut down on public expenses, which includes the government's cars and fuel, the use of means of communication and referral to early retirement."

There are more than 180,000 registered government employees; their salaries are around $170 million per month, according to the monthly public budget issued by the Palestinian Ministry of Finance.

The government expects $800 million to be offered to the public budget in grants and assistant packages; $350 million less than what was offered to them last year and $500 million less than in 2013.

In June, the Palestinian unity government approved the government and developmental budget for the Fiscal Year 2015, which amounted to $5.018 billion. At the time, the government estimated the financial deficit to be $32 million per month.

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