Iraq: Self-employed satisfied with being able to contribute to their pension
Iraqi parliamentarians voted on 17th May to introduce a new social protection law, including for the first time self-employed and informal workers in the contribution system. The law has yet to be published in the official gazette, but it is already being debated in Iraqi society.
Among the self-employed, Iraqi taxi drivers will be able to benefit from the new social protection law voted on May 17, 2023. © AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP
Text by: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Baghdad, Marie-Charlotte Roupie
At the taxi rank in Baghdad's Allawi district, the drivers are all independent. They do not contribute to their pension or unemployment. The new law on social protection is hotly debated here. Rassim Ayed, 31, is very happy. "If it's around 25,000 Iraqi dinars a month, yes, I will pay them and I will have a pension.»
To obtain this pension that concerns them, it will be necessary to contribute 5% of his monthly income for 15 years to the Ministry of Labour. Hamza Hameed feels wronged. The law will not be retroactive. "I'm not going to benefit from it. I am 53 years old, you are younger, the law will help you, but not me. If I have to pay another 15 years, I would be almost 70 years old, I would be dead and buried.»
Informal workers also concerned
For Waleed Nemah, the director of the Iraqi workers' union, one of the two majority unions, this remains an important step for the future. "This law will support six million workers. The government wants to support the private sector and the self-employed by paying them the equivalent of 12% of their income, plus the 5% of workers. Their pension will amount to 17% of their income.»
Informal workers selling everything on the roadside will also be able to try to obtain these social benefits. But before the vote of the state budget, specifying the financing of this new law, many are waiting to see to believe it.
" READ ALSO – Great Report - Iraq: a generation exploited
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