Cabinet Officials to Receive Raises as Part of Broader Effort

Cabinet members for senior government officials are the latest beneficiaries of a broad effort to raise the salaries of state employees, and according to a sub-decree signed this week, those working in the prime minister’s cabinet are to have their salaries more than doubled.

Signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the sub-decree dated Tuesday sets out pay ranges and the organizational structure of cabinets for the prime minister, deputy prime ministers, senior ministers, ministers and secretaries of state.

The new monthly salaries for the prime minister’s cabinet will range from 1.5 million riel, or about $350, to 5 million riel, or about $1,250, depending on seniority, while officials working in cabinets for the country’s nine deputy prime ministers will earn between 1 million riel, or about $250, and 3.5 million riel, or about $875.

All other cabinet officials—in a bureaucracy that includes well over 150 senior ministers, ministers and secretary of states—have had their wages bumped up to between 1 million riel, or about $250, and 2.8 million riel, or about $700.

Youk Bunna, a secretary of state and spokesman for the Public Functions Ministry, said cabinet officials had not received a raise in years, even as they rose through the ranks.

“We have prepared the new payroll list to raise salaries for cabinet officials because they were promoted, and some of them worked for many years and never received a pay raise,” he said.

Mr. Bunna declined to list the preceding salaries of all the cabinet positions, but said the top members of the prime minister’s cabinet were receiving about 2 million riel, or about $500, per month, and would now receive up to 5 million riel, or about $1,250.

“The government has raised it…this year, because the salaries they earned in the past were not enough for them to support their families,” he said. He added that he did not know the total number of cabinet employees, or the total cost of salary increases for the government.

However, he said there were more than 100 people employed within the prime minister’s cabinet alone. The sub-decree limits the number of cabinet members for deputy prime ministers to 12 and ministers to eight.

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