With the absence of social injustice danger of poverty rises
Bahraini political organizations said that the danger of poverty is rising in Bahrain due to the absence of social justice and poor economic planning.
The organizations called for developing radical solutions to the economic crises of the Bahraini citizens on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
The organizations highlighted that poverty is one of the causes of affront to human dignity and a form of discrimination between human beings, from which the vast majority of the working classes, the unemployed, the marginalized, and victims of wars, epidemics and natural disasters have suffered.
The organizations said that all of these reasons are primarily the result of the absence of social justice, poor economic planning, expropriation of national wealth, failure to protect marginalized groups and segments, and the provision of guarantees of equal opportunities for all segments of society alike, regardless of their class, ethnic, religious and national affiliations.
The associations confirmed that the alarm of poverty is ringing in the Kingdom of Bahrain after it has reached advanced stages. It is not only represented by the declining standard of living in Bahrain, which is the lowest in the Gulf level.
It is also represented in the low level and absence of equal opportunities in job opportunities, education services, health and housing, the high corruption index, the spread of unemployment and the lack of strategic planning, including the vagueness of the economic recovery plan and Vision 2030.
The organizations said that in light of the deliberate absence of a clear definition of poverty and the level of the poverty line in Bahrain, and the lack of official recognition of its existence, citizens had been burdened with many burdens, including debts and the number of families who depend on financial aid from the Ministry of Labor to meet their basic daily needs has increased steadily.
Their percentage is about 47%, which is almost half of Bahraini citizens, which is a strong indicator of the poverty level in Bahrain.
Labor Market Authority statistics indicate that 17,000 workers receive salaries less than 50 dinars, 176 thousand workers receive less than 100 dinars, 254 thousand workers receive less than 150 dinars, and 357 thousand workers receive less than 300 dinars.
It added that the neoliberal state policies opened the market to competition with foreign capital, even in the simple activities and crafts owned by citizens, and opened labour markets to the influx of cheap foreign labour.
The political associations highlighted that these policies are now affecting not only the low-income but even the middle class with their hazardous effects, which expands the segments of the groups threatened with penetration below the poverty line.
The statement stated, “we see that our country is resorting to patchwork solutions and adopting policies that contribute in the long run to the low standard of living of citizens, such as privatizing health, education and other vital services.”
The pandemic and the accompanying increase in unemployment, lower salaries, halting pension increases, and increasing the value-added tax to 10%. Finally, the outrageous rise in food prices deepened the poverty curve and threatened new groups to enter under its umbrella.
The political societies demanded the adoption of a law to declare a minimum salary estimated on scientific bases and studies.
It also called for the development of immediate and radical remedies to address the economic crises that the country has been suffering from for years, and the implementation of transparent and governance policies and programs to combat poverty, achieve social justice, and establish a civil state based on equal citizenship, as well as through building legislative institutions with real powers and efficient and impartial government agencies.
The statement bore the signatures of the National Gathering, the Unionist Gathering, the Progressive Forum, the Arab Center, the Islamic Class Association, the National Unity Gathering, the Islamic National Forum, and the National Constitutional Gathering.