Croatian PM announces salary rise for public workers

Plenkovic says raises between 6-8%, but renounces VAT decrease

17 October, 18:00

    (ANSAmed) - ZAGREB, OCTOBER 17 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic announced a significant salary rise next year for public sector employees that will, however, come with renouncing a proposed lowering of the VAT tax.

    Speaking to parliament after weeks of tension between public sector employee labour unions (in particular in the health and education sectors) and the government, Plenkovic promised that in 2020 all public workers' salaries would rise by 6 to 8%.

    In recent years Croatia has seen an average GDP growth of 3% annually that has, together with austerity measures that have remained in place following their introduction during the years of economic crisis, allowed for a stabilisation of public accounts.

    This year Croatia should have a budget practically without a deficit, while next year a surplus is predicted.

    In this macroeconomic context, the government had planned a reduction in VAT, from 25% to 24%, that will now have to be renounced to ensure the funding necessary for the salary rises.

    The salary increases should also to be viewed in light of the fact that elections are scheduled in Croatia in 2020. Meanwhile, strikes by elementary and middle school teachers that started last week are still going.

    The strikers are calling for an immediate and significant pay raise.

    Labour unions insist on denouncing that even after the announced pay rises, this category will remain the most underpaid of the entire public sector.(ANSAmed).

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