Regime and social security fool [Archives:2007/1105/Opinion]

November 22 2007

Ahmad Al-Maqrami
When the regime imposed what it called 'dose reforms' on the Yemeni people, it undertook to apply a package of financial and administrative reforms, plus many economic procedures that can help improve the living standards of people. Authorities vowed to control its expenses, and not to leave any gap for corruption and corrupt individuals, as well as rationalize its spending without waste of funding, protect its property and prevent lootings. They also pledged to be tough in implementing the financial and administrative reform program with the aim of eliminating all the aspects of corruption and public money embezzlement.

The government has been since then asking people to fix belts on their bellies and tolerate the hard living conditions for a short period of time. Within a short time period, as the government claimed, the situation would come back to normal, the national economy recover and people's living standards improve while blessing and prosperity will prevail throughout the nation.

But, as usual, the government has not fulfilled any pledges or promises it made. It never fought corruption, nor did it carry out any processes of financial and administrative reforms while situations have gone from bad to worse. The only thing, which the authority did without any delay, is implementing the dose reforms or the subsequent doses that never happened throughout the history of Yemen.

The unwise government's spending helped corruption to become rampant, and superfluous expenses did not stop at a specific limit. Rationalization of the spending has seen no illumination while the Yemeni citizen tolerated all the consequences of consecutive doses. Corrupt officials seized the opportunity to loot public property in a terrible manner.

It seemed that one of solutions aimed at alleviating sufferings of the poor and jobless guys in exchange for applying the dose is granting them financial assistance, or the so-called social security in order for their living standards not to deteriorate. Regretfully, the amount of money, which the General People Congress's government approved for the poor as a social security, was very small and is of no benefit to reduce their sufferings.

In return, the government's successive doses come to destroy what is moist and dry. They helped poverty spread and prices skyrocket, coupled with unexpectedly increased costs of water and electricity bells, and transportation expenses. Having contemplated at the unbelievable price hikes, all the amounts of money (YR 2,000 and 3,000 per month) cashed under the guise of social security are comparatively low and, therefore, impossible to improve the deteriorating living standards of people. This amount is not enough for paying for 25 kg of wheat in the state of 'New Yemen'.

Nevertheless, the government has been reminding its people on different occasions and at the times of general elections of the social security it approved to alleviate sufferings of the poor and the needy, which, in fact, has nothing to do with the deteriorating situations in the state of 'New Yemen'. In total contrast, the regime distributes various kinds of luxurious cars and villas, plus large lands to influential persons and senior government officials, particularly these days, in order to face sit-ins in the southern governorates, and deprive people and the poorest communities of their basic rights.

To sum up, the regime, which is wasting public money without any sense of accountability, have to feel ashamed of its behaviors and let the deprived people benefit from the wealth of their nation. The poor and the needy should be given precedence over influential persons and high-ranking officials. In addition, the regime has to increase the amounts it approved for the poor and the starving orphans rather than giving expensive cars to corrupt officials in exchange for loyalty with it.