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Over 4,000 to face salaries cut

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The office of President George Manneh Weah says some 4,140 higher – earning government employees will be affected by salaries cut in government’s new measures seeking to synchronize pay system and to revamp the economy.

“The cut will affect higher – earning government employees in the Executive Branch. We want to underscore that … Considering, uh, some 4,140 out of 71,000 plus employees,” Deputy Presidential Press Secretary Smith Toby told a press briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday, 7 May.

In announcing the new government austerity measure, Toby laments that what was planned in the past 12 years is what President Weah’s government is reaping today, in his attempt to find a cause for today’s economic challenges facing the new administration.

“Those who understand the economy will tell you that, uh, what was being planned or implemented in 12 years or in six years is what we are reaping right now,” he says.

The Deputy Presidential Press Secretary explains that the economic condition of the state was not manufactured by the Weah led – government, recalling that President Weah has said time without number that he inherited a bad economy.

In previous administration, he continues that people were earning around US$45,000, but President Weah’s government is working towards synchronizing the pay system of government employees.

To standardize salaries, Toby reveals that all cabinet members, heads of autonomous agencies and public agencies earning between US$5,000 and US$7,861 will experience a 10 percent reduction in salaries.

He adds that there will be an additional 3.5 percent to 7.5 percent salary reduction affecting deputy and assistant ministers, as well as civil servants making above US$1,000.00.

He clarifies rumors here that the measures are being introduced to further deepen the hardship on civil servants, saying only civil servants making below US$1,000 will not be affected by the cuts.

Toby says he is told that the cabinet and the heads of public enterprises and autonomous agencies have agreed on these measures, meaning that no longer will these officials in the Executive Branch make above US$10,000.00.The measure, he says is government’s way of putting employees into categories based on the type of work they do.

Additionally, the presidency announces that a very big cabinet meeting is due to be held today, 8 May, as government seeks to put into place some measures to address the status of the economy.

Touching on other issues, Toby announces a plan to extend President Weah’s housing unit projects to the rest of the 15 counties upon completion of the ongoing construction of a US$3.8m project for 282 housing units in Grand Kru County.

According to him, another 1,500 housing units will be constructed in the 15 counties here for the poorest of the poor, after the completion of the 282 housing units in Grand Kru County.Each of the counties are expected to benefit 100 housing units, according to Toby.By Winston W. Parley

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