News

16. October 2017

Government to increase pensions and public sector wages

A five percent increase in pensions will be implemented in Serbia starting January 1, while public sector salaries will grow ten percent. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic announced this on Saturday in the town of Krusevac, during a news conference held after her cabinet's session organized to mark its first 100 days in office. Presenting the results of the government, she said that "excellent results in the area of state coffers" allowed for this permanent pensions and wage hike. An across board ten percent nominal monthly wage cut was legislated in Serbia in 2014, along with a progressive cut in nominal pensions (at a 22 percent rate for pensions between RSD 25,000 and 40,000, and 25 percent for those higher). Since then, pensions and public sector wages have been increased on two occasions. Speaking in Krusevac, Ana Brnabic said that the Serbian government in the first 100 days "proved that it can continue to move bravely in the direction set by the previous government" and "promised modernization, digitization and investment in education," the government announced. The prime minister added that fiscal consolidation has been continued, that the public debt at the end of September was 65.4 percent of GDP, that it was lower by 7.6 percent compared to the end of 2016, and that the surplus was 66.5 billion. Brnabic recalled that the Socio-Economic Council had raised the minimum wage, which will positively affect 350,000 workers, that the seventh revision of the arrangement with the IMF had been completed, and that Kosovo's candidacies for the UNESCO and Interpol had been successfully halted. According to her, in the first 100 days of her cabinet, seven new contracts with investors worth EUR 78 million were signed, which will provide 2,778 new jobs. She underlined that foreign direct investment in the first seven months of 2017 increased in comparison with last year by 19.9 percent, while in the first eight months of this year Serbia achieved growth of foreign trade of goods of more than 13 percent, exports increased by the same percentage, while at the same time the number of new employees was 5.5 percent higher than in the previous year. Brnabic said that "one of the most important news is that the European Commission excluded only Serbia from the anti-dumping measures for the export of steel, which means that Serbia will be able to export steel to the EU without anti-dumping duties, which will enable the Zelezara Smederevo steelworks to have a better position than other manufacturers." This is a signal to both Chinese investors and European partners that Serbia is a credible and reliable partner, Brnabic underlined. At: www.b92.net

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