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Govt Austerity Package: Public Sector to Save EUR 402M This Year (II)

Ljubljana, 23 March (STA) - The government plans to save EUR 402m this year and EUR 408m in 2013 by adjusting the workings of the public sector. Across-the-board lowering of pay by 15% would account for more than half of the savings, according to the government's proposal for consolidating public finances sent to social partners.

Lower wages in the sector, including those of public officials, would save some EUR 226m this year and an additional EUR 176m next year.

The government proposed another major cost-cutting measure - the lowering of the percentage proportion of healthcare services covered from the mandatory health insurance - which would bring in additional EUR 66.1m in 2012 and EUR 88.2m in 2013.

What is more, employees in the public sector would not get their holiday allowances this year, which would save EUR 64m, while they would get half of the allowance next year.

The government would also like to lower the payments of commuting and lunch costs as well as travel costs and per diem allowances, saving EUR 26m this year and double that in 2013.

Carrying out extra-curricular activities as part of an expanded primary school programme, and transferring study help to students and morning tutelage to work obligations of teachers would save a bit more than EUR 5m this year and EUR 15.6m the next.

Teachers would also have to teach for one hour more, while other workers' norms would increase by up to 10%, which would save another EUR 3.2m this year and EUR 12.9m in 2013.

Two more measures are aimed at primary education - raising the highest number of students per class from 28 to 30 students and changing the work standards for consultants and librarians. The two measures combined would bring in EUR 2.2m this year and EUR 9.6m next year.

Abolishing a special allowance for workers posted abroad and compensation for dependent children of those working abroad would mean another EUR 1m in savings in 2012 and EUR 2.3m in 2013, according to the government's plans.

Should the social partners agree to the government's proposal, executing contracts for auxiliary staff would be temporarily curbed, which would mean cutting budget expenses by EUR 600,000 in two years.

The austerity measures in the public sector are a part of the government's austerity package with which it would like to save EUR 1.8m over two years.

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