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Basic pay in austerity punch
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 11: It appears that the Cabinet is moving forward with imposing the government’s austerity policy after it approved suspending the annual bonus of KD 100,000 under the clause “remedying the situation” so that the current ministers receive only their basic salary of KD 2,200, reports Al-Rai daily quoting informed sources. They indicated that the government is inclined towards moving its austerity policies to the second row of leaders and those in high positions in various government agencies. The sources revealed that the Cabinet assigned the Finance Minister Khalifa Hamadeh to prepare a study with the cooperation of the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which is seeking to unify the salary scale of all leaders in the various ministries of the state and government agencies and institutions by setting organized controls in this regard.
The sources explained that, according to the study’s objective, all state leaders will receive a similar salary scale regardless of the entity they work for, with the exception of entities for which a special law has been issued regulating the financial dues of its officials. This direction also includes unifying the various financial benefits and rewards they receive. After unifying the leaders’ salary scale, some of them may only be distinguished by some of the advantages related to their membership in the committees associated with the entity in which they work for. This application limits the movement of leaders from one government agency to another to obtain the benefits of the entity to which they will move to, which led to reluctance to work in many entities whose salaries and financial benefits are described as low compared to others.
The sources stressed that the government’s move in this direction comes within the plans to reduce government spending on salaries, the cost of which in the current budget is about KD 12.59 billion, constituting 54.6 percent of the total public expenditures. They highlighted that the pressure of chapter one (salaries) is not a new thing, but the presence of leaders in many ministries and government agencies who receive much lower salaries and benefits than leaders of the same job rank in another entity or ministry calls for the unification of salaries in order to achieve functional justice as well as alleviate many of the government’s financial problems. The sources stressed, “Many rationalization decisions are expected to be taken in the coming period, in addition to taking administrative steps that would significantly reduce government spending.”