Iraq PM Promises Minimum Income Guarantee to End Protests

Also promises to sack 1,000 state employees over corruption

Hoping to find a way to resolve the week-long protests in Iraq without resigning, Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has announced a series of concessions, and endorsed the protesters’ demands as “righteous.”

The prime minister is ordering protesters released, the imminent firing of 1,000 state employees accused of corruption, and perhaps most substantially, a national minimum income guarantee for each Iraqi family.

That income guarantee, along with promises of a to-be-revealed employment scheme, are meant to address complaints that the post-ISIS war economic recovery never materialized. Economic woes were driving a lot of protesters, who believed they have little to lose.

A lot of the details are still to be revealed, including how big this minimum income will be. It’s not at all clear Iraq could afford for it to be very large. Moreover, the promise to release protesters not charged with a crime is vague, as it’s not clear how many have been charged yet.

Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi has seen what has happened in the past when he placated protesters with promises and didn’t make good on them though. It seems likely he’ll make some sort of move to satisfy them this time, as without that, he might not get another chance

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.