Bulgaria Scraps Plans for Senior Officials Salary Increase
The Bill foreseeing a significant increase of the salaries of Bulgarian Prime Minister, the President, the Speaker of the Parliament, and other senior officials is now postponed for the next government term.
The statement was made Monday by the mastermind of the proposal, Deputy PM and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, speaking in an interview for the State-owned Bulgarian National Television, BNT.
According to the Bill, the monthly salary of the Prime Minister, the President and the Speaker of the Parliament, would have been upped to BGN 8 000, while the ones of the Deputy Prime Ministers and the Vice President, were to reach between BGN 5 000 and BGN 6 000 a month.
Djankov said Monday that the initial idea has been to pass the decision at the last meeting of the Cabinet for the year. According to him, this would have made it clear that the approval would be left to the next Parliament and would have dissipated suspicions the Bill was written to benefit the now-ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB.
The Minister added the moment now was not suitable to up the salaries, citing Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, saying as early as May 2012, that common folk income should go up first and then the one of State servants.
Djankov stressed under the current pay scale, his Deputies earn less than their subordinates such as Department Heads.
"This is an old problem. The previous Cabinet solved it through the wrong practice of allowing officials to be members of the Boards of State companies, which secured additional income," said he.
The Minister reminded that in 2012 the State Administration and the State Servant Acts were passed and the salaries Bill should have been the last piece of legislation that would have concluded the administrative reform. The Bill also included a new pay scale for regional governors and mayors.
Djankov noted income of some employees in the private sector has been upped already and more of the same was planned, all while rejecting that this was part of an election campaign.
"I learned from Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, that all good deeds are election campaigning," said he.
The Minister informed that in 2013, the Cabinet will focus on measure to decrease youth unemployment and find jobs for people who have been unemployed for a number of years.
According to him, the previous government made a mistake in negotiating funding for employment in 2005 – 2007 because it asked more money for job training instead of funding new jobs. As result, currently only 20 000 people or 5% of the unemployed have jobs thanks to EU funds.
The Cabinet now also plans to pay for one year employees' social benefits and insurance of businesses that hire young people or the permanently unemployed.
PM, Boyko Borisov, currently gets BGN 3 403 a month and if Djankov's proposal materialized, the salary of the country leader was to go up by the significant for Bulgaria amount of nearly BGN 5 000.