Cyprus Mail

Fresh call for public sector pay cuts

IN A STATEMENT that is set to prompt strong reactions, the chairman of the state’s fiscal council suggested on Tuesday that a pay freeze and smaller raises in the public sector could be put in place to correct distortions in the economy.
“There is a gap between state and private sector incomes,” Demetris Georgiades said.
However, he added, at some levels the difference was in favour of the private sector.
In some cases raises would have to be given to public sectors but in most areas “unfortunately there should be cuts,” he said.
Georgiades said such distortions could be corrected with a freeze in salaries and smaller pay increases. “It is a matter for society and politicians to decide,” he said.
He agreed that workers and unions would react to additional cuts “because no one likes to see their salary cut. Unfortunately though, we must see the state’s and the economy’s capabilities, and what distortions these inequalities create.”
PEO and SEK trade unions already voiced opposition over the suggestion. SEK also pointed out that President Nicos Anastasiades recently assured members that with the economic progress achieved so far, the government was in a position to resist further cuts.

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