Cabinet to block pay demands before 2023 vote

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The Cabinet decided to freeze any new off-budget claims and requests from November 1 until the February presidential elections to ensure fiscal discipline and avert any electoral influence, said Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides.

The cabinet decisions followed President Nicos Anastasiades’ announcement during the Economist Summit last week.

“It is expected this decision will safeguard the impartiality of the state apparatus, any efforts to influence public opinion will be excluded, mass claims given the presidential elections will be averted, and conditions of equal participation for all candidates in the electoral process will be consolidated,” Petrides said.

Under the decision, from November 1 until the coming presidential elections, any off-budget policies, plans or claims will not be satisfied by the government.

These include revision or increase of allowances, upgrade of salary scales or policies which lead to increased government pledges or expenditure.

“You understand that we have entered an election period…when such requests increase.

“But for reasons associated with fiscal discipline, for which the Finance Minister is competent, it was deemed necessary to submit this proposal to the Cabinet,” Petrides added.

He said the Cabinet took into account the current economic situation, the prevailing uncertainty, the chain reactions in the global economy due to the Ukraine war, and the need to safeguard fiscal space, the growth momentum for the economy.

“And preserve the economy’s credibility given rising interest rates, which we estimate will continue to rise.”

Petrides said that in taking this decision, the Cabinet also noted that the 2023 state budget and the 2023-2025 medium-term framework have been approved and submitted to Parliament.