While a great portion of the population struggles to make ends meet with a $450 minimum wage, Lebanon's policymakers have some of the highest salaries in the world, a recent report revealed.
The Legal Agenda, a non-profit organization that monitors law and public policy in Lebanon and the Arab world, released a report on Tuesday documenting the amount of money Lebanon's presidents, ministers and members of parliament "earn" based on data from the finance ministry.
Among several other noteworthy findings, the organization found that a Lebanese member of parliament's salary is at least 18 times greater than the minimum wage - a ratio that is among the highest, not only in the Arab world but globally.
Here are the monthly salaries of Lebanese policymakers while in service, minus the additional privileges and allocations, and of course, the money they make on the side:
The president: 18.75 million LBP
Speaker of the parliament: 17.737 million LBP
Prime minister: 17.737 million LBP
Minister: 12.937 million LBP
Member of parliament: 12.75 million LBP
This, in addition to several allocations MPs benefit from, such as the 2.7 million LBP they receive every month from the solidarity fund, they also collect 15-100 million LBP yearly as "asphalt expenses" from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
That's not all. MPs benefit from several exemptions that allow them, for instance, to buy cars without customs fees and purchase airplane tickets with a 55-75% discount.
Plus, according to Dr. Fawwaz Traboulsi, most MPs do not pay electricity and municipal fees.
Here's how much Lebanon's policy makers get paid every year
These salaries are among the highest in the world
To get the full picture, The Legal Agenda compared the salaries of Lebanon's policymakers to their counterparts around the world.
Since the purchasing power of a U.S. dollar varies around the world, the organization took into account the ratio of a politician's salary to the minimum wage in his/his respective country.
The ratio of a Lebanese MP's salary to the minimum wage in the country is 18.888:1. This means that an MP's salary is 18 times the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the ratio is 15:1 in Egypt and Bahrain, and 13:1 in Jordan.
Globally, the ratio is 6:1 in Britain, and 10:1 in the U.S. and France.