Syria’s government spending to increase by 12 percent in 2015


Syria’s state spending is expected to rise 12 percent to 1.55 trillion Syrian pounds ($9.10 billion) next year, driven by higher social support costs, state news agency SANA reported citing a draft budget presented to lawmakers on Sunday.

Syria’s civil war, which is in its fourth year, has devastated the economy, causing tens of billions of dollars of damage and depriving it of oil export and tourism revenues.

The 2015 draft budget allocates 1.14 billion pounds for ongoing costs, while investment spending will increase to 410 billion pounds from 380 billion, SANA said.

But most of the money will go on social support costs, which are expected to reach 983.5 billion pounds, a rise of 368.5 billion, the agency said. There were no details on whether these included both subsidies and wages.

The chairman of the budget committee Hussein Hassoun recommended increasing the salaries of members of the armed forces and security services, SANA said. He also called for action to rein in a wave of high prices which have hit people on low incomes.

Since the start of the crisis in 2011, Syria has received financial support from its ally Iran, including billions of dollars in credit facilities to buy oil products, to help bolster its finances.


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