San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Chinchilla suspends wage increases for top bureaucrats

Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla on Monday signed an executive order to freeze salary increases for all top officials of her administration for this year.

The order applies for the salaries of Chinchilla, her two vice presidents, various ministers, vice ministers, chief executives and managers of public-sector agencies.

This is the fourth consecutive year that salaries for these bureaucrats have been frozen at current levels. 

Labor Minister Olman Segura said in a press release that the measure seeks to balance salaries of top officials and other public workers. It also aims to reduce public spending, he added.

The minister also said the administration has requested the salary freeze be extended to other high posts in public agencies that were not included in the current executive order, such as rectors of public universities, public bank presidents and managers of autonomous agencies.

“All these officials were asked to refrain from increasing their salaries to help reduce the fiscal deficit and to collaborate with the country’s economic situation,” Segura said. The country’s fiscal deficit was 4.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2012.

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