MEXICO CITY – Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Sunday that his salary when he takes office will be less than half that of the incumbent.
The current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, earns 270,000 pesos ($14,270) a month, Lopez Obrador told a press conference, citing figures provided by his transition team.
“And I am going to receive 108,000 pesos ($5,700) monthly, 40 percent of what President Peña now receives. I decide to earn less than half, keeping my commitment,” the leftist president-elect said to applause.
Lopez Obrador rolled out on Sunday his Plan for Republican Austerity, a 50-point program aimed at restraining pay and benefits for senior officials in order to redirect those funds to social programs.
He said that he reduced his own compensation by 60 percent so as to be able to offer attractive salaries when trying to recruit for his administration people who now earn significantly more in academia or private companies.
The austerity plan calls for reducing the number of federal political appointees by 70 percent, eliminating bonuses for government employees, limiting expense accounts, and requiring agencies to buy used vehicles instead of new ones.
The incoming administration also wants to cut in half government spending on publicity and announcements – a major source of revenue for newspapers – and to prohibit private meetings between officials and people seeking to do business with the government.
Lopez Obrador, who won last Sunday’s election in a landslide, is set to take office on Dec. 1.