Armenian servicemen receive significant salary increase, housing benefits
The salaries of Armenian servicemen will be raised starting July 1.
The Minister of Defense says that in order to achieve a significant increase, additional payments are also provided for the performance of certain official duties of military personnel.
Earlier, the government also approved changes to the law on obtaining documents to purchase apartments for military personnel exempted from military service because of age or health.
The government allocated 5.7 billion drams (about $12 million) to carry out this programme.
“To purchase apartments in Yerevan, the certificate compensates up to 50% of the market value of housing in apartment buildings on the basis of the average market price. In the regions, the certificate covers 90% of the amount needed to purchase housing”, said the Minister of Defense.
Who and how much
On average, servicemen will see a 10 per cent increase in their salaries. The Minister of Defense, presenting the project to the government cabinet, said:
“Approximately the same increase will be received by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the ordinary contract soldier. Please approve this long-awaited decision.”
The Prime Minister explained:
“We said that the increase will be 10 percent, but the salary of junior officers and the military, who serve in special conditions, will increase to 20 percent.”
Employees working in so-called “special conditions” will also receive additional remuneration for their services, and their payment will significantly increase – more than the amount that will be received by even the highest officers and leadership of the Armed Forces.
Defense Minister David Tonoyan stressed that the percentage of such a one-time increase in salaries in the army has never been seen before in Armenia. But the question of proper salaries for Armenian servicemen will continue to be in the centre of attention of the government.
At what expense will salaries be increased?
During the first four months of 2019, it was possible to collect more taxes than was even established in the ambitious government programme of the “revolutionary” government.
The state budget for 2019 was exceeded in the first quarter by 25 percent and increased by 62 billion drams [about $127 million]
Immediately after these results were announced, the Prime Minister announced that, first of all, the salaries of servicemen and teachers would be increased.
Head of the State Revenue Committee David Ananyan believes that this result was achieved not due to economic growth, but due to the effectiveness of the fight with the shadow economy.
“The plan for this year as a whole will be fulfilled and exceeded due to the fight against the shadow economy. If economic growth helps us in this, we will be very happy. In the following years, we hope that it will be economic growth [that will explain the rise in budget funds.]”