Algeria passes budget law as public anger grows

Algeria’s parliament on Wednesday approved a budget law covering a raft of subsidies aimed at defusing mounting public discontent over jobs and high prices, a local report said.

An overwhelming majority of lawmakers voted in favour of the Complementary Financial Act 2011 in a session boycotted by the opposition Workers’ Party, the APS news agency reported.

The act includes subsidies for buying consumer goods, boosting investment, job creation as well as tax reductions for small businesses.

The revised law hiked the operating budget by 25 percent to 4.3 billion Algerian dinars (43 billion euros, 61 billion dollars) from a draft bill.

It also increased capital investment by another 25 percent to 3.9 billion Algerian dinars.

Algeria has been rocked by protests and strikes over unemployment and soaring prices. The biggest riot so far claimed five lives and left at least 800 people wounded in mid-January.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in April pledged reforms before the end of the year including modifying the constitution and revising electoral law, as popular uprisings sweep through the Arab world against authoritarian regimes.

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