Commission targets officials' much-criticised benefits
(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission, under fire from EU states over the salaries of EU officials, wants to slash five percent of jobs, increase working hours and raise the retirement age of staff.
The European Union's executive arm is seeking a five percent increase for the 2014-2020 EU budget to 1,025 billion euros, but at the same time it is proposing to freeze spending for its administration.
Spending for EU institutions, which employ 50,000 people, represents 5.7 of the EU budget.
"There is a big chance that unions will call for a strike," an EU official said.
EU salaries start at 2,550 euros ($3,679) a month while the best paid officials earn 17,000 euros per month. In addition, they receive an expatriate allowance and pay lower taxes.
The commission is proposing to increase the income tax as well as working hours from 37.5 hours to 40 hours a week, while the retirement age would be raised from 63 to 65.
The proposals are part of the budget presented by the commission late Wednesday, which has drawn criticism from Britain and Germany at a time national governments are forced to impose austerity.
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