New lawmakers present bill to eliminate automatic wage increases for themselves

May 2, 2014
6 Comments

The National Liberation Party’s (PLN) top lawmaker, Juan Luis Jiménez Succar, on Thursday submitted his party’s first bill to reform the “Lawmakers’ Salaries Law” in order to eliminate automatic wage increases of 5 percent that legislators receive twice a year.

The bill recommends that lawmakers receive the same salary increases approved by the National Wage Council for all other public employees.

New lawmakers, who took office on May 1, already will receive higher salaries than their predecessors, which as of this month will be ₡3.7 million ($7,000) per month. The next automatic increase is in November and would total ₡3.9 million ($7,500).

“We believe that our country’s finances are exploding, and we have a fiscal deficit that, according to projections by the Central Bank, could exceed 10 percent this year,” Jiménez said on Thursday morning.

The bill could be put up for discussion by the full Assembly as early as next Wednesday, the beginning of the ordinary period of legislative sessions. Lawmakers are expected to spend at least the first two days of next week discussing outgoing President Laura Chinchilla’s last State of the Nation, to be delivered on Thursday evening. Chinchilla leaves office on May 8.

If approved, the bill would enter into force when published in the official newspaper La Gaceta. That would mean lawmakers’ next wage increase would be the same as other public-sector workers, which was passed by executive decree earlier this year. Public salary increases are discussed every six months by the National Wage Council.

In addition to monthly salaries, the Legislative Assembly provides each lawmaker with 500 liters of free gasoline per month and ₡161,000 ($300) for monthly office and cellphone bills.

Taxpayers also pay the salaries of up to five advisers for each lawmaker and other expenses including snacks and drinks served during daily sessions, meetings and social gatherings.

The bill submitted by Jiménez contrasts with a proposal by previous PLN lawmakers in 2010, which sought a salary increase from ₡2.5 million to ₡4.3 million. That proposal, which was widely criticized by taxpayers, was not approved.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Brazil arrests eight Vale employees over mining dam disaster
Brazil
335 views
Brazil
335 views

Brazil arrests eight Vale employees over mining dam disaster

Rosa Sulleiro / AFP - February 15, 2019

Brazilian authorities arrested eight employees of mining giant Vale on Friday over a dam collapse at one of its mines…

Off the eaten path: Ristopizza Napolitano A Vit è N’Attim
Dining and Nightlife
649 views
Dining and Nightlife
649 views

Off the eaten path: Ristopizza Napolitano A Vit è N’Attim

William Ayre - February 15, 2019

In late September of 2016, the D’Angelo family moved from Naples, Italy to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica. Now they’re…

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica from the air
Pic of the Day
685 views
Pic of the Day
685 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica from the air

The Tico Times - February 15, 2019

Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back for perspective. But this shot shows what most of us already know:…