Government aims to implement new public sector pay cuts from September

in Business · 25-07-2014 10:25:00 · 0 Comments
Government aims to implement new public sector pay cuts from September

Portugal's government has said that it hopes to be able to implement in early September a levy on better-off pensioners and new pay cuts for public sector workers, once the Constitutional Court has taken a definitive decision on the legislation in question.

Luís Marques Guedes, the cabinet office minister, noted at a news conference after Thursday's regular weekly cabinet meeting that parliament has a plenary session scheduled for Friday where, he said, "in principle" the legislation to replace measures struck down by the court several weeks ago is to be voted on.

"By the end of August there may be a definitive decision, and if it is favourable as we expect, given that it's the resumption of the reductions that had been considered acceptable by the Constitutional Court [we hope] that this can take effect around the beginning of September," the minister said.

He stressed that, in making this projection, the government was taking into account "all the constitutional deadlines" that exist and treating the matter "with the speed that the country needs".

Marques Guedes noted that the public sector pay cuts are identical to those implemented by the previous, Socialist government, before Portugal sought a bailout. Under these measures, cuts of between 3.5% and 10% are to be applied progressively to salaries of more than €1,500 a month.

Figures published this week that showed the public sector budget deficit for the first half as larger than that for the same period of last year served to underscore the difficulties that government is having in finding constitutional measures that can reduce state spending enough for it to meet its commitments to international lenders and its European Union partners.


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