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Peru: Government Salary Increase Creates Turmoil

By: PanAm Post Staff - Feb 11, 2014, 12:00 pm

SpanishA great controversy has erupted in Peru with the recent increase in salaries — a doubling in many cases — for ministers and high-level officials from the national, regional, and local governments.

Government ministers benefited the most; they went from collecting 15,000 to 30,000 nuevos soles (US$10,6000). Economic Minister Luis Castilla claims that the salary they received was behind in comparison with their counterparts in other countries, such as Chile and Mexico.

Castilla defends the initiative, saying “it is a measure that is justified as part of the salary reform across the state, it was performed in the judiciary, the police, and the teachers.” Meanwhile, the president’s chief of staff, Cesar Villanueva, points out that the aim of the reform is to attract the most qualified professionals to public service.

However, not everyone agrees with this justification, former President Alan Garcia believes the government has taken advantage of the enthusiasm of the population, after the favorable decision of the International Court of Justice in the maritime dispute with Chile.

The members of parliament who oppose this measure will request a hearing with Villanueva, so he can give explanations before the congress. This would not be the first time that the government of Peru has had to reverse the salary increase for public servants. In January 2013, the congress had to annul rising representatives expenses, after a month of strong criticism from the population.

Source: El Nuevo Diario.