Monday, June 17, 2024

Statistics agency hikes salaries; AMLO warns there will be repercussions

Salary increases at Mexico’s statistics agency have sparked a caution from president-elect López Obrador, who warned yesterday that by law no public official will be allowed to earn more than him and fines will be imposed if the law is violated.

The future president’s remarks came in response to news that the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) last week increased the salaries of its employees.

The Inegi president now receives a monthly salary of just over 198,000 pesos (US $10,500), a 7,500-peso raise and 90,000 pesos more than the wage López Obrador has said he will be paid.

The Morena party leader, who has already outlined a range of other austerity measures his administration intends to adopt, explained that the Public Servants’ Federal Remuneration Law approved by the lower house of Congress earlier this month prohibits salaries higher than 108,000 pesos (US $5,725).

“There is not going to be anyone who earns more than the president because it’s in the law and he who breaks the law is going to be sanctioned. It doesn’t matter who it is, nobody is above the law,” López Obrador said.

Mario Delgado, Morena coordinator in the Chamber of Deputies, stressed that the salary hikes approved by Inegi will be temporary, explaining that they would soon have to be reduced.

Senate President Martí Batres, also of Morena, described Inegi’s salary increases as “insensitive” considering  lawmakers’ efforts to cut government spending.

However, the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s lower house leader René Juárez Cisneros defended Inegi, stating that “no law has entered into force” that prohibits it from adjusting its employees’ salaries.

Inegi president Julio Santaella said the organization hadn’t done anything wrong and has no intention of violating the law.

“We’re going to stick to the law . . . We’re going to see how it goes and what margin we have,” he said.

Santaella added that Inegi is autonomous with regard to the management of the funds it is allocated and that their use “adheres to the current legal framework.”

The Inegi board, which approved the salary increases, said that its sole objective was for personnel to maintain their current levels of purchasing power.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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