Gov’t Gives $5 Monthly Bonus To State Employees, Soldiers

The government on Thursday granted all civil servants, soldiers, police, retired civil servants, and vet­er­ans a $5 monthly bonus in addition to their basic salaries, officials said.

According to a copy of a sub-dec­ree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday, the Ministry of Fi­nan­ce must add $5 to the monthly pay or pensions to “support their living standard.” The monthly bonus will remain in place through the end of the year, it also stated.

However, political appointees ran­king from undersecretary of state upward will not receive the bonus.

Information Minister and government spokesman Khieu Kan­har­ith said he was not aware of the bonus and declined to comment.

CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the government has decided to give the bonus because of the global financial crisis and increasing prices in Cambodia.

“Samdech Hun Sen has promis­ed to increase national budget ex­pen­diture; he has requested to give a small bonus to support people in time of the high inflation,” Cheam Yeap said.

He added that the government has taken in enough revenue to grant the bonuses. “Our revenue is stable, so Samdech Hun Sen has giv­en the $5 bonus,” he said.

SRP lawmaker and party spoke­sman Yim Sovann said he doubted that $5 would do much to improve anyone’s living standard.

“We welcome the bonus, but it is not enough,” he said, adding that people need at least $150 a month to live in a dignified manner—far more than most government em­ploy­ees officially take home.

“Giving them enough money will reduce corruption,” he added.

Cambodian Independent Teach­ers’ Association President Rong Chhun also said it wasn’t enough.

“Five dollars doesn’t make the teachers’ living standard better. If the government wants to improve the teacher’s living standards, they must give more,” he said.

Cheam Yeap said of the bonus recipients that, “Even though, we can’t serve their need,” he said, “this will help their living standards.”



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