Mexico reduces senior officials’ salaries bill

Mexico City, Jan 6 (IANS) Mexico will reduce by 10 per cent the sum allocated towards the salaries of senior public servants of the federal administration for the first quarter of 2017.

In a televised message, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the measure on Thursday and said he understands the anger over the increase in gas prices in Mexico, a measure that came into effect on Sunday and has sparked widespread protests in the country, Efe news reported.

He justified the rise in gas prices on the grounds that over the last year “across the world oil prices increased by around 60 per cent”, and that the government would not benefit even a cent from the hike.

Maintaining oil prices would have forced the government to cut down on social programmes, increase taxes or increase public debt, putting the country’s stability at risk, said Pena Nieto.

The President stressed that the first thing his government did before announcing the measure was to cut the spending of his own government by nearly 190 billion pesos ($8.8 billion).

He added till date, the government has cut around 20,000 jobs that represent a reduction of more than 7.7 billion pesos in the salaries and allowances bill.