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Minister of Finance defines that priority is to hire in social areas, not increase salaries in public service

The Minister of Finance told Lusa that the State Budget for 2024 should not include increases for public employees, favoring the hiring of new employees, mainly in social areas.


"We are managing the budget even at the limit, so what we have privileged is the social sectors, that is Education and Health, to ensure that the payroll, growing, grows where the need is really glaring; if the shortage is not glaring, if we can manage it, we can not increase this bill to that extent, and we prefer to ask them not to hire", replied the minister when asked about the existence of margin for salary increases in the public sector in 2024.

In an interview with Lusa on the sidelines of her participation in the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, taking place this week in Marrakesh, Vera Daves de Sousa explained that she prefers to hire in the neediest areas instead of increasing salaries and highlighted: "What we have done in other sectors besides Health and Education is to encourage that [if there is an increase in expenditure] it is through replacements; the services inform us of available vacancies and then these people hire, we are very focused on strengthening of our capacity in terms of providing services in Education and Health".

The minister highlighted that social expenditure represents around 15 percent of the budget, which compares to debt expenditure of around 60 percent, and stated that when the State "is able to reduce this share, it will be able to grow in others", and, for now, the increases have been contained precisely because of the weight of public debt payments, which the IMF estimates will have risen from 65 percent, in 2022, to more than 80 percent of GDP, this year.

"We have been controlling the increase in the payroll precisely because of debt service," she added.

"Every year we create space to hire, but the focus has been on social areas, namely Education and Health; every year there are hirings, or launch of competitions that take time, but every year we create space for these sectors to hire people", replied the Minister of Finance, when asked about the possibility of salary increases in a context of high debt and reduced economic growth.

The General State Budget for 2024 does not yet have a date set for submission to the National Assembly, but the minister hopes to have a preliminary version to deliver to deputies "at the end of this month".


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