Cabinet approves higher fees for NSSF
Business leaders refuse bearing more costs
The Cabinet approved raising the ceiling of the wages used to calculate subscriptions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
The maximum salary subject to subscriptions to the NSSF’s sickness and maternity fund per employee was raised to LL2.5 million ($1,660) from LL1.5 million ($1,000).
The Cabinet had raised hospitalization rates in August from $28 to $60 per night to include all patient needs, except for medicine, medical tests, and doctors’ bills. The NSSF said it could not apply the new tariffs unless it increased its income through raising the maximum salary subject to maternity and sickness fund subscription.
The Syndicate of Private Hospitals’ Owners had earlier capped the number of NSSF patients which hospitals are willing to admit, in response to the NSSF’s refusal to comply with the new tariffs.
Private sector business leaders called for an urgent meeting on Wednesday (December 5) to discuss the decision. “We are not against raising subscriptions but we can’t pay all these taxes within the deteriorating economic situation,” said Ziad Bekdache, vice-president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists.
Bekdache said economic bodies cannot afford all the additional costs without witnessing increased productivity in return. “If they want to raise the ceiling to LL2.5 million, that’s fine, but they should enforce administrative reforms at the NSSF simultaneously,” he said.
According to Bekdache, economic bodies had made a side agreement with the Cabinet to raise the subscriptions ceiling to LL2 million ($1330) earlier, but were surprised by its recent decision.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Dec 05, 2012