Tax hike, stagnant wages spark protests in Beirut

Thousands of demonstrators have descended on central Beirut to protest a broad tax hike they say is unfairly targeting the country's working classes.

The Lebanese government is paralyzed over a budget proposal that would hike over a dozen tax rates to fund a salary increase for teachers and civil servants.

Demonstrators in Beirut Sunday say the government has squandered public moneys through shady public-private contracts and should plug the budget deficit by addressing corruption instead.

The Lebanese Parliament has twice extended its own term over disagreements on how to hold elections. Polls are scheduled to take place in May, but top politicians are yet to give a green light.