Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cuba announces major salary rises

Cuba announces major salary rises
By Stephen Gibbs
BBC News, Havana

Cuba has announced a major increase in government salaries as it tries
to reward workers with high productivity and advanced university degrees.

The bonuses will boost some government salaries by up to 50%.

Cuba's Communist Party daily newspaper says that the pay rises will be
the first some civil servants have been awarded in 23 years.

Workers with masters degrees will receive a bonus of up to $4 a month.
Doctors will get an extra $7.

The raw figures might seem low but in Cuba - where the average monthly
salary is around $15 - the rises will be welcome.

Perhaps all the more so because they come at the same time the Cuban
government is launching a campaign against those that supplement their
salaries through illicit means.

Rich targeted

President Castro has vowed to clamp down hard on rampant robbery from
state enterprises.

In a speech last week he also blamed many of the country's woes on what
he described as Cuba's new rich - principally intermediaries and
independent restaurant owners who have profited from this economy's very
limited opening up to private enterprise.

They, it appears, are being targeted in another move announced - a
staggered price rise of up to three times for heavy consumers of

Cuba's decrepit electrical infrastructure has in recent years proved
insufficient to power the whole country.

The government says that the entire population needs to be made aware of
the cost of energy, particularly those that use it to run their own

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/11/24 06:58:49 GMT


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