Kollar: Freezing Salaries of Senior Officials Is Stupid and Populist Move

Kollar opposes freezing of public officials' salaries (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, July 13 (TASR) – Opposition party We Are Family will oppose the further freezing of salaries of public officials, a matter usually addressed in the House in the autumn, party leader Boris Kollar told TASR on Wednesday, adding that salaries shouldn’t be frozen for those who duly perform their work.

“I’m against freezing salaries. At the same time I’m against stealing by public officials. It’s a stupid populist move when we vote to freeze salaries just to please voters, only to rob them later in the first overpriced tender. Rather than freezing the salaries of honest officials, I would freeze the freedom given to thieves who are robbing people,” said Kollar.

TASR has approached other parliamentary parties concerning the issue. According to the Slovak National Party (SNS), this isn’t a matter that needs to be addressed at this time, while Siet (Network) said that it won’t comment before a new presidium is elected at its August congress. The far-right Kotleba-People’s Party Our Slovakia (LSNS) didn’t respond.

Salaries were frozen most recently by Parliament in November 2015, with the measure taking effect as of January 2016. A total of 88 MPs voted that the president, MPs, cabinet members, president and vice-president of the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) and other senior officials should continue to receive salaries equalling those paid in 2011.

Conversely, the freezing of salaries doesn’t apply to the prosecutor-general, the Judicial Council chair, judges of the Constitutional Court or other judges and prosecutors.

Finance Minister Peter Kazimir (Smer-SD) said last September that if attempts to freeze the salaries of judges and prosecutors were repeated, the matter would only end up before the Constitutional Court again. “All previous [attempts to freeze] judges’ salaries ended up before the Constitutional Court. We expect that economic growth will exceed 3 percent of GDP, and such a figure can’t be considered critical,” stressed Kazimir. Frozen salaries should bring savings of €3 million per year, but if judges and prosecutors were also included, the savings would be €8-9 million higher, admitted Kazimir.