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Last updateFri, 19 Oct 2018 7am

Lopez Obrador to slash presidential salary by 60 percent

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will earn almost two-thirds less than the actual president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, once he takes over as chief executive on December 1.

In an announcement this week, the president-elect vowed to slash his salary from 270,620 pesos a month to 108,248 pesos ($US14,217 to $US5,686) to honor his campaign promise to run an austere administration.

Lopez Obrador will also eschew a range of benefits enjoyed by the current president, including a Christmas bonus or aguinaldo (equivalent to two months’ salary), as well as private health and life insurance.

He will expect his cabinet to follow suit and proposes to send a bill to Congress that will make it illegal for any public official – elected or otherwise – to earn more than the president.

Lopez Obrador believes he can save the nation billions of dollars by implementing an extensive range of cost-cutting measures. He has already promised to ditch the presidential plane and turn Los Pinos Palace (equivalent to the White House) into a cultural center.

Speaking this week at a press conference in which he outlined “50 measures against corruption and for austerity,” the president-elect reiterated that former presidents of the nation will no longer be permitted a pension, nor will public officials be allowed drivers, bodyguards and private health insurance plans paid for from the public purse.

In addition, thousands of  nonessential high-paying federal jobs will be axed and the operational costs of the federal government reduced by 70 percent. Perks such as the acquisition of new vehicles and the reimbursement of travel expenses will also be withdrawn.

In his announcement, Lopez Obrador said that the government’s publicity budget will be reduced significantly.

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