At least 70 public officials in Jalisco could see their salaries slashed dramatically if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gets his way.
The president-elect recently declared that under his administration no public servant should earn more than the country’s chief executive.
Lopez Obrador has vowed to cut his monthly wage by 60 percent – down to around 108,000 pesos ($US5,800).
Among officials in Jalisco who will be looking at reduced earnings are the state governor (currently on a wage of 166,195 pesos), the Universidad de Guadalajara rector (197,000 pesos), the Supreme Court president (188,472 pesos), the attorney general (155,103 pesos) and the education secretary (124,828 pesos).
However, Lopez Obrador’s austerity program is unlikely to be a big issue in Jalisco, where governor-elect Enrique Alfaro has already announced that he will be reducing his salary and that of senior officials to less than the president’s. This is despite the fact that the two politicians – once close allies – are hardly the best of friends having exchanged harsh words during the campaign. Alfaro enacted the same austerity policy after taking over as mayor of Guadalajara in 2015.
Critics of Lopez Obrador’s wage cap plan say it is ambiguous, probably not applicable to states, and unclear whether it applies to a net salary or after tax deductions. They also say it could increase corruption, if some public servants find it impossible to curb their high-expenditure lifestyles.
According to one constitutional expert quoted this week, states and municipalities, and not just federal officials, could be subject to the new rule, depending on differing interpretations of the Mexican Constitution.