Algeria approves divisive budget bill to offset fuel woes

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) " Algeria's government has passed a divisive austerity bill that includes tax hikes and salary freezes to offset a sharp fall in gas revenues.

A majority of lawmakers approved the bill Tuesday with many opposition members boycotting the vote.

Mohamed Djemai of Algeria's ruling National Liberation Front party said he supported the bill because it doesn't "fundamentally affect Algerians' social benefits" despite the economic woes.

Critics of the bill, including teachers and medical workers, have planned strikes for Nov. 27-29.

The budget changes will create new taxes and raise prices on tobacco, alcohol and fuel, and some lawmakers warn that they could cause public unrest beyond the walkouts.

Other critics have accused the government and well-connected tycoons of amassing fortunes while ordinary Algerians struggle with inflation.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 04 Dec 2016 07:18:23 Processing Time: 508ms