Effect of Middle Class Decline on Cultural and Value Framework

Source: Egyptian Institute for Studies

Author(s): Nada ZainAlabidin

Original Link: https://en.eipss-eg.org/effect-of-middle-class-decline-on-cultural-and-value-framework/

The investment of the middle class in education, health, and housing, their support for good quality public services, their intolerance of corruption, and their trust in others and in democratic institutions, are the very foundations of inclusive growth”[1] a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

In 2015, statistics showed that 30% of Egyptians – that means approximately 30 million Egyptians – are poor[2]. This percentage was before the 12 billion USD IMF’s loan in 2016 that led to the liberalization of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, to lose over 60% of its value and of course, the overall increase in prices. The minimum wage in Egypt was increased from 1200 to 2000 Egp in March 2019[3]. According to the World Bank that estimated 1.19 USD a day as the poverty threshold, and according to the recent USD-Egp price rates,1026 Egp a person per month[4] equals the poverty threshold, so El-Sisi basically announced that the minimum wage for Egyptians are slightly above the poverty threshold. Taking into consideration that the last similar decision in 2014 raised the minimum wage to 1200 Egp, and according to the USD-Egp price, it meant 170 USD, and according to today’s ratio, we can say that, El-Sisi raised the wages from 170 to 115 USD, that unfortunately means harder conditions for poor people in Egypt.

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