Finance Minister Harris Georgiades’ budget for 2020 which is his last one since he is stepping down by the year’s end does not give in to five specific public sector demands.
His five main objections concern measures towards containing the number of public sector employees as well as the amount of benefits/allowances/compensation granted out.
The overall number of public sector employees in Cyprus has dropped from 52,267 on 1/12/2012 to 47,352 on 30/6/2019.
Specifically, the Minister’s five main objections for 2020 whose budget was approved by Cabinet yesterday are the following:
—No to general increases while an attempt is made to contain other direct or indirect salary increases.
—Continuation of the ban on filling vacant permanent positions of first appointment, appointment and promotion and promotion in the public and wider public sector. Cases justifying exemption from the ban will continue to be dealt in accordance with the provisions of the Prohibition of Filling a Vacancy in the Public and Wider Public Sector (Special Provisions) Laws of 2013 to 2017.
—Continuation of the prohibition of employment of fixed-term employees in the public service for 2020, with the exception of those listed in section 16 of the Budget Law. Special emphasis is given to the justice sector, on the strengthening of the audit of public expenditure and in education.
—Continuation of the prohibition on the recruitment of part-time government staff and part-time government staff for seasonal or extraordinary needs, except as provided in section 16 of the Budget Law.
—Continuation of staff mobility, both within and between ministries / services and the wider public sector, in a bid to meet departmental needs.
The 2020 budget also provided for the maintenance of arrangements for the payment of allowances, compensation and other financial benefits.