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2020-21 National Budget: What’s In It For Civil Service

“We’ll also be cutting salaries for all Permanent Secretaries and the CEOs and Heads of Commissions and Independent Bodies by 10 per cent, effective from 1 August 2020. This will not apply to the legislature and judiciary as the other two independent arms of the state.” -
18 Jul 2020 16:14
2020-21 National Budget: What’s In It For Civil Service

While the pay-cut of Government Ministers and Members of Parliament will continue, pay cuts have also been announced for heads of certain organisations.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said: “In our COVID-19 Response Budget, we announced that Government ministers were taking the first salary cut of 20 per cent in light of dramatic hits to Government revenues –– a move that was mirrored just days later, almost identically, by New Zealand.

“We didn’t do that because it saved a large sum of money; we did it to stand in solidarity with all those reeling for COVID’s job-killing impact. That cut, which actually came into effect much more rapidly than with our Kiwi counterparts, will remain through the next year.

“We’ll also be cutting salaries for all Permanent Secretaries and the CEOs and Heads of Commissions and Independent Bodies by 10 per cent, effective from 1 August 2020. This will not apply to the legislature and judiciary as the other two independent arms of the state.

“For the rest of the civil service, even given the historic pay rises through recent years, we aren’t cutting salaries. Pay cuts started with the leadership, and that’s where the biggest cuts have stopped because that’s what leaders do.”

However other cost-saving measures have been announced:

“We will be reducing meal allowances from $20 to $10; instead of paying overtime, we’ll be giving time enough in lieu of overtime; we’ll be suspending the rural housing allowance, and bundled insurance will now only apply to social welfare recipients.

“And –– as a matter of policy –– we’re prioritising opportunities for employment. For example, we’re choosing to hire more police officers and build more posts rather than fund short-term administrative projects, some of which aren’t prudently putting resources to work.”

“Compared with what’s happening to jobs in Fiji and around the world, these are extraordinarily light asks. The fact that salaries in the civil service aren’t being cut, when so many jobs across the economy have been, is testament to the Government’s willingness to walk the talk when it comes to being Fiji’s employer-of-choice. We are looking after our people; a commitment we hope other companies match.

“Mr Speaker, in line with the policy across the civil service, the retirement age for those working in municipal councils will be reduced from 60 to 55 in one year’s time.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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