Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) says that the government has decided to halve the planned increases to senior civil servants' salaries over a four-year period.
"We will halve the increase in salaries for senior civil servants. If things are difficult elsewhere, then ministers, along with everyone else, have to show solidarity," Läänemets said, adding that the reduction in salary increases would be affective for a period of four years.
However, as far as ministers' salaries are concerned, Läänemets believes that at some point they will have to be increased. "There will be this anomaly at some stage, whereby the chair of a Riigikogu committee will start to earn more than a minister, so the logic is that at a certain point, ministers' salaries will probably have to be adjusted," Läänemets said.
According to Estonian Salaries of Higher State Servants Act, the salaries of senior civil servants are required to increase from April each year in line with annual growth on the pension insurance component of the social tax, i.e. salary growth. This makes up 80 percent of the rise, and is also indexed to inflation, from which the remaining 20 percent of the pay increase is added.
Against a backdrop of rapid inflation in previous years, the salaries of Estonia's highest level civil servants have risen significantly.
Among Estonia's highest level and therefore highest-paid civil servants are the president, Riigikogu MPs, judges, the auditor general, the chancellor of justice, the attorney general, government ministers and the state secretary.
Editor: Michael Cole