11 Feb 2015 – The chairman of the government Consumer Protection Association said on Tuesday that it would be a mistake to remove welfare subsidies and not simultaneously increase government employee salaries in light of the precipitous decrease in value of the Syrian pound, reported regime-affiliated newspaper Al-Watan.The value of the Syrian pound has dropped to SP250 per $1, as compared to SP50 per $1 before the war, according to the pro-regime news agency Suriya News.
The depreciation of the Syrian pound has caused food prices to increase exponentially.Frozen meat, for instance, now costs SP2,400/kilo, as opposed to SP1,750/kilo just several months ago. While the SP250 per $1 exchange rate is not official, the black market is currently trading at that price and has been driving up the cost of goods. A government monthly salary of SP20,000 now needs to be at least SP90,000 in order to meet daily expenses, the association’s chairman said. Last month, the Syrian government cut several public subsidies, increasing the price of bread and fuel in regime-controlled areas. www.mesop.de