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Friday, July 19, 2024

Liberia: Civil Servants Remain ‘Harmonized’ as Salary Cut by $8 Million

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By Festus Poquie

President Joseph Boakai and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning have proposed a reduction in the country’s wage bill, contradicting their previous promise to increase civil servants’ salaries.

The annual salaries and other remuneration have been cut by 2.6%, equivalent to $8 million. This reduction brings the total wage bill from $305 million to $297 million, as reported by Deputy Finance Minister for Budget, Tanneh Brunson. This shows the Unity party administration reverted to 2019/20 payroll.

For the 12-month period ending in December 2024, the administration plans to allocate $690.2 million.

This decrease in compensation spending dashes the hopes of public sector employees who were anticipating an increase in earnings following the infamous payroll harmonization exercise of the Weah administration.

Back in 2019, the International Monetary Fund highlighted the lack of transparency and credibility in the country’s wage bill. They emphasized the need for key policy reforms to create fiscal space.

Under the previous George Weah administration, a payroll harmonization policy was implemented to minimize salary disparity. This policy matched the salaries of employees with the same positions partially or fully.

As a result, the government wage bill was reduced from $322 million in the fiscal year 2018/2019 to $297 million for the fiscal year 2019/2020, according to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

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