Iran’s subsidies for the needs of life such as gasoline, electricity, water, and basic foods are generous. In fact for several years many economists have said they are too generous, draining away most of the country’s budget and leaving little for crucial investment. And if severer sanctions come as a result of the nuclear crisis, people need to be prepared for leaner times. So President Ahmadinejad has pushed a bill through parliament, reforming the subsidy system. But the Guardian Council, that vets all legislation, is not happy and have sent the bill back. Their unease is probably not because they disagree with the need to rein in expenditure on subsidies, but rather over who will get to spend the extra cash. The bill leaves it with the President, and that might be their problem. Whatever happens, the withdrawing of subsidies will put pressure on average families, already squeezed by inflation. This includes of course all Christians, who are often more exposed to rough economic winds because their employment is vulnerable due to their faith.
- Wisdom for those responsible for the economy
- The poor who will be worse hit
- The church to respond generously to needy members