Austerity measures

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has announced a package of measures aimed at reducing the public deficit, including a reduction in salaries of public sector staff, the abolition of the ‘baby cheque’ and the freezing of pensions.

The salaries of public sector personnel are expected to be reduced by an average of 5% this year and the salaries of members of the government will be reduced by 15%.

Pension increases for 2011 will be suspended and the ‘baby cheque’, the one-off €2,500 payment for producing a sprog, will be abolished as from January 1st 2011.

State public spending is set to be reduced by 6,045 million euros between 2010 and 2010 and local, provincial and regional authorities will be expected to initiate savings of a further 1,200 million euros.

These measures are set to be adopted by the Council of Ministers on Friday and will come into effect ‘with vigour’ immediately.

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