Government employees on the lowest pay scale get salary raise

  • ECO News
  • 1 October 2018

Last week, the parliamentarians from the Socialist party announced that the State Budget 2019 would include an increase in the salary of government employees, "at least" for the lowest pay scales.

The State Budget 2019 (OE2019) will encompass measures which will positively affect the wages of government employees. Those on the lower scale shall expect to see their salaries increase in the next year.

The flexibility that the current government showed in developing this option for civil servants has pleased the opposition parties and its partners in the “Geringonça”, making it more likely for State Budget negotiations to run smoothly.

The exact figures for the salaries’ increase are not known yet, but, however, there is certainty regarding the fact that the government will indeed proceed with this measure for the next year. Expresso, a Portuguese newspaper, showed this Saturday that the measure is vital for the approval of OE2019.

Many possibilities are being discussed at the moment, as for instance the significant increase only for those on the lowest pay scale, or a slimmer increase to be applied to a rather more enlarged amount of civil servants, from various pay scales, or even, a general (and step-by-step) increase for all government employees.

Bloco de Esquerda (BE), the left party, is assuming that Centeno’s measure is a victory for the government as it frankly shows a great deal of flexibility, but in their opinion, the increase should encompass all employees and not just a limited few, in such a way as to compensate for the inflation. The manoeuvre to propose this measure for next year’s state budget is seen by BE as a smart move, and a decisive one for the OE2019 to be accepted.

PCP, the communist party, on the other hand, has reacted less enthusiastically. Although the party led by Jerónimo de Sousa is in favour of the measure, they insist that the increase should be decided by the syndicates and not by the Parliament. Communists are sure they will be able to convince the leadership to commit to their initiatives regarding the state surtax (inserting a new level to the IRC), a new level also for the additional values attached to annual property taxes (IMI), and comprising all income above 100 thousand euros to the tax return form.

The leftists want the VAT on energies, namely electricity, to be reduced. The Socialists haven’t agreed yet, but they have now compromised with increasing the taxes on renewables, a measure BE had proposed last year.