They will change six laws to keep their high salaries

First session of the technical government/ Photo: "Sloboden Pechat"/ Dragan Mitreski

According to our calculations, some officials will receive a minimum increase of up to 500 denars, and others up to 2.000 denars. The goal of SDSM MPs with the legal changes is to prevent the increase of officials' salaries, which were increased by 78 percent in March last year.

The salaries of elected and appointed persons will not be reduced, nor will they remain the same, but will be minimally increased with the amendments to the six laws that regulate the salaries of officials. According to our calculations, some officials will receive a minimum increase of up to 500 denars, and others up to 2.000 denars. If the amendments to the six laws are not adopted, the salaries of MPs, ministers, judges, mayors, etc. will increase by significant amounts – from 300 to 400 euros – depending on the function.

Deputies in the Assembly today unanimously decided to implement the amendments to the laws in a shortened procedure. The laws on the salaries of elected and appointed officials, on the salaries of MPs, on the salaries of prosecutors, on the salaries of judges, on the salaries of members of the Judicial Council and the Law on the salaries of members of the Council of Public Prosecutors will be changed. The change is that the coefficients by which the base for salary calculation is multiplied will be minimally reduced, and the base is the average annual salary in the previous year, which for 2022 was MKD 31.859 net.
The salary of officials is formed by multiplying the base with the coefficient, and to the sum are added allowances, such as past work and other legal allowances. With the legal amendments submitted by a group of MPs, the possibility of official salaries to increase significantly from next month, in accordance with the increased base, which amounts to 36.614 MKD net, which is the average salary for the year 2023, will be canceled. This means that, if no other legal changes occur during this year, the salaries of officials will be increased once a year in accordance with the growth of the annual average salary. They expect the next increase in March 2025.

The Vice Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Fatmir Bitiqi, believes that the legal amendments for the salaries of officials, proposed by the SDSM parliamentary group, should be passed as soon as possible, and he considers that this is the best possible solution at the moment. For the salaries of the officials who are appointed directly by the Government and are not covered by the legal changes, Bitiqi proposes that the decision on the coefficients be made by the management and supervisory boards, if there is no possibility that it should be by a government decision.

- The initiative of these six laws was adopted by the parliamentary group from SDSM. My personal opinion is that they should be adopted as soon as possible, and for the rest we will see if it is possible for the Government to make a decision at all. My message will be to all directors, according to their competences, their management and supervisory boards, if the Government is not in a position to make a decision due to Article 8 arising from the Electoral Code, they should do it themselves - said Vice Prime Minister Bitici.

Fatmir Bitiqi – Deputy Prime Minister / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" - Dragan Mitreski

Asked why the proposal in the Parliament was not from the Government, but from a group of MPs from the SDSM, he said that "there was no understanding from everyone".

- We had previous discussions. There were legal solutions in the previous government, but there was simply no understanding from all stakeholders who are part of the Government. We, as SDSM, who believe that there must be fair and just solutions in society, believe that this is the way to intervene - said Bitici, who did not want to reveal which ministers did not want to stop the increase in official salaries.

According to the vice-prime minister, the offered solution by reducing the coefficients is the best possible at this moment, and he advocates that the calculation be done with the same methodology as is available in the public sector.

- But I am one of the 20 ministers and therefore I think that this is the best possible solution at this moment for society - said Bitici.

When submitting the legal amendments, SDSM MPs emphasized that the goal is to prevent the increase of officials' salaries, which were increased by 78 percent in March last year, after the Constitutional Court abolished the fixed base.

According to the proposed changes, the largest coefficient of 4,5, according to which the salary of the president, prime minister and speaker of the Parliament is calculated, will be reduced to 3,92. The coefficient for MPs was 3,5, and from now on it will be 3,04. The mayor of Skopje received a salary according to a ratio of 3,7, which has now been reduced to 3,22, and the state public prosecutor has the same ratio. The President of the Judicial Council had a coefficient of 4, from now on it will be 3,7.

All coefficients have been reduced by a minimal amount and they now amount from 1,91 to 3,92.

It is noticeable that the coefficients are made in such a way that the current salaries of the officials remain and that none of them are reduced, but also that there are no drastic increases.

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