The amendments were supported by 51 members, while 33 were against.
The amendments determine the target level of monthly salaries in the public administration, bringing it to an average of 80% of the level of pay in the private sector, as well as the ratio between the permanent and variable part of the salary. The remuneration of senior officials will also be clarified, taking into account the balance of power branches and the principle of hierarchy.
The amendments provide that the salaries of higher officials would rise, whereas the bonuses and premiums would decrease. The changes would apply to the President of the State, the Speaker of the Saeima, the Prime Minister, the President of the Constitutional Court and the President of the Supreme Court, as well as the Prosecutor General, deputies of the Prime Minister, ministers, the State Auditor General, and the Ombudsman.
For example, in the future, the President's remuneration will be included in the overall system, with a coefficient of 7,00. This means that from the current €5,960 per month, the President's salary will rise to around €7,600 as of 2023. The same salary as the President will also be received by the Chairman of the Saeima and the Prime Minister, for whom it will mean a rise in monthly wages from around EUR 5,300 to EUR 7,600, or about a 40% rise.
The increase in salaries of the country's top officials will require an additional €6.44 million in the 2023 budget and €6.85 million in 2024.
It is intended to reduce the variable part of the remuneration – bonuses and premiums.
“Premiums are not a transparent way to pay wages,” said the Saeima deputy Krišjānis Feldmanis (New Conservative Party) in the plenary session, indicating that a 'second salary' is often paid out in premiums. Currently, premiums can be up to 60% of the monthly salary but are planned at a maximum of 30%.
The amendments are scheduled to take effect on 1 July 2022, but the changes in the ratios for the salaries of top officials, including prosecutors, judges, and officials appointed by parliament, are scheduled to take effect on 1 January 2023.