RIGA - As one of their last acts in power, ministers in the outgoing Latvian Cabinet have voted to pay themselves a bonus. Acting on the suggestion of Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis, the Cabinet held a closed meeting shortly after the parliamentary elections and passed a decision about paying bonuses in the form of a monthly salary.
Janis Dzanuskans, head of the Prime Minister's Office, told the Baltic News Service that Kalvitis had proposed bonus payment on account of the government's performance.
"It is no secret that the government has done a good job, and voters in the parliamentary elections also showed their appreciation," said Dzanuskans.
He said that the government had not made the decision during a closed meeting because it wanted to keep it secret. The proposal had been the last item on the agenda, and the Cabinet usually discussed final items behind closed doors, explained the head of the premier's office.
The prime minister's salary is based on the average salary in the public sector multiplied by the coefficient 8.9 and currently is 2,162 lats a month. Ministerial salaries are calculated in a similar way and currently stand around 1,944 lats.
The Baltic News Service estimated that about 35,000 lats have been paid in bonuses to the premier and the ministers.