State should cut 500 employees annually, says new minister ({{commentsTotal}})

Maris Lauri, the new Minister of Finance, said that 500 public sector jobs should be cut each year, in light of the declining population.

Speaking in front of the Estonian Parliament on Thursday, she said that the public sector should not increase in proportion to the entire working age population. “This means the public sector staff numbers should decline by around 500 each year, maybe even faster.”

She said that having professional and devoted state officials is one of the pillars of the state, and the state needs to find public sector challenges and offer rewards, Äripäev reported.

The average civil servant earned 1,181 euros before tax each month last year, nearly 25 percent more than the national average. Seventy-nine percent of state officials have a higher education degree, compared to only 39 percent in the entire economy.

According to Lauri, the number of civil servants and those who work close to the central government decreased last year, but public institutions further from the government increased in numbers. The average salary of a public sector employee jumped by 10 percent in 2013, while the average in Estonia was 4 percent, but according to Lauri that spike had much to do with a bigger drop in public sector salaries, compared to the private sector, during the economic crisis.