ZAGREB, August 28, 2019 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Davor Bernardić said on Tuesday there was money to raise salaries of healthcare workers, teachers, police officers and firefighters but that the government does not have the political will to do so.
Addressing a press conference, he wondered why the finance minister said there was no money to raise salaries in the public sector if the economy and tourism were growing and the deficit was decreasing.
Bernardić said that according to fiscal policy guidelines for 2020, the government predicted 3 billion kuna higher tax revenues and that they were predicted to rise this year by 5.3 billion kuna. He said this meant there was money and the only question was where it was going.
He said the annual cost of raising salaries in line with current union demands was 800 million kuna and that this was only 2% of the amount annually set aside for public employees.
The SDP supported the union demands for higher salaries and reiterated its proposal to raise the non-taxable income from 3,800 to 5,000 kuna, saying this would mean 350-500 kuna higher salaries for 700,000 people.
Bernardić said the SDP’s proposal and the union demands would result in 13% higher salaries for teachers, healthcare workers, police and firefighters and 10% higher salaries for doctors. He underlined the need to raise salaries for doctors, nurses and teachers, “or the whole system will collapse.”
He went on to say there was a bad inter-ethnic climate in the country and that this suited the right-wing members of the ruling HDZ party ahead of the presidential election “in order to avoid talking about poverty in Croatia and emigration.”
More SDP news can be found in the Politics section.