The Supreme Court’s (SCJN) plan to cut its spending by 15% next year doesn’t go far enough, according to lawmakers from Mexico’s soon-to-be ruling party.
Morena Party senators have rejected the court’s proposal to reduce its 2019 budget by 852.8 million pesos (US $45.3 million) and today were going to present a motion that asks the court and other federal judicial bodies to make further cuts, including judges’ salaries.
The 11 Supreme Court judges currently earn 266,841 pesos (US $14,175) per month or about two-thirds the amount their counterparts in the United States make.
The motion, seen by the newspaper El Universal, states that the 852.8-million-peso proposed cut only represents 1.1% of the total funding allocated to the federal judiciary in 2018, which totaled 71 billion pesos (US $3.77 billion).
“We cannot continue to have people [living] in poverty while judges, magistrates, justices, leaders and politicians [live with] excess, opulence and privileges,” the motion says.
Morena is proposing that allowances, bonuses and a range of other benefits afforded to more than 1,400 federal judges as well as court and Federal Judiciary Council officials should be reduced or eliminated completely.
The motion says that salaries paid to members of the judiciary are the highest in the public service and notes that the incoming government has announced salary cuts for members of the other two branches of government, the executive and the legislative.
Morena Senate leader Ricardo Monreal described the SCJN’s proposed budget cut as a “minimal gesture” and said that it must do more to save public money.
Morena party lawmakers in the lower house this week presented an austerity bill that will reduce the remuneration of the 500 deputies by 28% from 128,230 pesos (US $6,720) to 91,507 pesos (US $4,795) as well as the salaries and benefits of other government officials.
Party leader Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who will be sworn in as president on December 1, said in July he will be paid a salary of 108,000 pesos (US $5,735), 60% less than the 270,000 pesos current President Enrique Peña Nieto earns.
Source: El Universal (sp)