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Kurdistan abolishes salary-saving system

Nechirvan Barzani
FILE: Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has ended the salary-saving system for “slashing the salaries of civil servants for the past three years.”

The decision was taken following a cabinet meeting to review recent agreements between Erbil and Baghdad on a special budget allocated by the Iraqi federal government for the salaries of government employees and Peshmerga troops.

Announced by Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, the decision also repay "saved" salaries. The system was applied in 2016 as a result of an economic crisis that was brought by a costly war against ISIS.

“I am glad to announce that starting from this month, the salary savings decision in Kurdistan Region will be removed and the salaries will be paid as they are — in full," Barzani said in a statement during a press conference.

“It [the salary saving system] was the worst decision of our political lives,” said Barzani while standing next to his deputy Qubad Talabani.

He added that certain things contributed to the implementation of the system including the Kurdistan Region's hosting of 1.8 million IDPs and refugees through the ISIS conflict.

Barzani further thanked Kurdish MPs in Baghdad for helping them ensure the funds for the salaries, while also thanking new Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi for his “understanding."