Government to freeze civil service wages in 2011

Estonian finance minister Jürgen Ligi said this week that the government will freeze civil service wages for 2011. “We have frozen public spending and will not increase the number of civil servants nor their wages,” Ligi said in an interview to ETV evening news.

Ligi emphasised that the fundamental public needs will be covered. “Social expenditures are secure and we are working right now for increasing investments,” he said, adding that pensioners should not be afraid that pensions will be cut next year.

Opposition leader Kadri Simson, chairman of the Centre Party faction, said that the plan to cover the budget deficit with a loan is better than increasing taxes and cutting social spending.

Ligi admitted that the fact that there will be two elections in 2011 was affecting the budgeting process, but said that its impact remained smaller than feared. At present the spending requests of ministries are still about 2 billion kroons higher than what the state is prepared to spend.

Read more from BBN

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