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Parliament approved constitutional officials’ salary freeze for next year

Fico said the freeze was a matter of principle to him.

Miroslav Beblavý(Source: Sme)

After a fast-tracked proceeding, parliament approved the salary freeze of constitutional officials, MPs and government ministers, but not judges and prosecutors. It should save €3.5 million.

They will remain frozen in 2017, according to this amendment to the law on salaries, approved on November 23. The amendment was approved with 125 votes in a fast-tracked proceeding, so that it can be applied at beginning 2017.

“To gradually reduce the general government deficit and achieve a balanced budget, we need to continue, including in 2017, with consolidation measures that will be instrumental in meeting the set target,” Prime Minister Robert Fico who submitted the bill said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

He expects €3.5 million to be saved thanks to the salary freeze. “This is a matter of principle for me, and I want to say that we introduced a salary freeze in 2008 and we must do so also in 2017,” the premier added for TASR.

The salary freeze also includes the head of National Security Authority, every state employee in public office, i.e. at a ministry, as well as heads of other central bodies of the state administration, commissioner for children and commissioner for people with health disabilities – whose salaries are connected with the salaries of MPs, the Sme daily wrote.

MP Beblavý comments on fulfilling the budget

In the past period, the government failed to keep budgetary goals, independent opposition MP Miroslav Beblavý commented for Sme at the end of the 11th parliamentary session. He added that “the government has above-standard possibilities to change the budget during its implementation; especially in the case of favourable budgetary development, it is possible to enter the budget fundamentally just at the level of executive, without the parliament having to approve it.” It is not very trustworthy – because if the revenues are better than expected, people have little saying in how to spend them. But this is a long-term issue, Beblavý added. He is sure that in the recent period, budgetary goals were achieved with more difficulties or worse results.

“… In the past four years, the reality was always worse than the budgetary goals stated by the minister,” Beblavý opined for the daily. However, he added that from the point of view of fulfilling goals, the recent one is better than previous budgets.

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