By Constantinos Psillides
THE Finance Ministry plans to introduce a 1.5 per cent pay cut on all semi-government employees as their contribution towards healthcare, according to news reports.
Citing Finance Ministry sources, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday that the government plans to include the 1.5 cut in the 2015 budget. Currently, all state and semi-state employees are entitled to free healthcare. In August last year, the government introduced a 1.5 per cent pay cut for public sector employees only, leaving semi-governmental employees’ privileges intact.
“It stands to reason that people should pay for something they receive,” the source told CNA, adding that the government has no intention of revoking the pay cuts introduced in 2011 on public sector employees; the wage cuts being 3 per cent across the board and an incremental cut of up to 12 per cent for high earners.
CNA also said that no new cuts will be introduced in the future and that the government will work towards lifting the pay hike freeze imposed until 2016. “It will depend, of course, on the state’s finances. Freezing pay rises is not something we want to be doing in a time of high unemployment,” the CNA source said.
Neither Finance Minister Harris Georgiades nor the unions have responded to the story.