Most-Hid Not to Vote for Salary Freeze, Calls for Systemic Solution

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Most-Hid holds Republic Council session (photo by TASR)

Samorin, December 2 (TASR) – The co-governing Most-Hid party won’t vote for the salaries of constitutional officials to be frozen, said party leader Bela Bugar following Most-Hid’s Republican Council session in Samorin (Trnava region) on Saturday, adding that Parliament is subordinated neither to the prime minister, nor to the Government.

“At the moment it’s not about salaries, but about whether it’s enough for the Government or the prime minister to say: either you freeze salaries, or the Government will fall. There will be no salary freeze. We won’t vote for it. It’s irrelevant whether these salaries are increased by €1 or €100. Parliament isn’t subordinated to the Government,” stated Bugar.”

At the moment it’s not about salaries, but about whether it’s enough for the Government or the prime minister to say: either you freeze salaries, or the Government will fall. There will be no salary freeze. We won’t vote for it. It’s irrelevant whether these salaries are increased by €1 or €100. Parliament isn’t subordinated to the Government,” stated Bugar.

According to Bugar, the governing coalition can function well only if coalition agreements are observed. Most-Hid views the situation that emerged after MPs rejected a salary freeze via fast-track proceedings earlier in the week as unacceptable. “There’s a need to stress that Parliament is subordinated neither to the Government, nor to the prime minister. The Slovak Republic is a parliamentary democracy where the Government is accountable to Parliament,” stated the Most-Hid leader.

Most-Hid believes that it’s time to adopt a systemic solution that would cover not only the salaries of constitutional officials, but also those of managers of state-run companies. With regard to the fact that an amendment to the law on the salaries of constitutional officials is at its first reading in Parliament, Most-Hid expects the Government to submit a respective draft to Parliament at the second reading, i.e. next year.

The party wants to initiate a Coalition Council meeting over this issue. Bugar intends to call Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) on Saturday so that the meeting can be held on Tuesday (December 5) at the latest. Most-Hid has its own proposal regarding the issue, but it wants to present it to its coalition partners and seek a compromise solution with them first. Fico said that he’ll insist on a salary freeze and that he’s ready to link the vote on salaries to a no-confidence motion in the Government if MPs don’t change their minds. This statement was criticised by the co-governing SNS and Most-Hid.

Fico indicated the possibility of arranging the salary freeze through an indirect amendment to any law. Smer-SD intends to come up with one, but it’s also stressing the need to prepare and adopt a new law that would govern constitutional officials’ salaries in a systemic and comprehensive manner. If salaries aren’t frozen during the ongoing session, MPs will earn around €1,000 per month more as of January 2018.