11 Oct 2006

CNMI Finance Secretary expects shortfall in austerity holiday savings

11:05 am on 11 October 2006

The Finance Secretary of the Northern Mariana Islands government expects to save only US$7 million in fiscal year 2007 from the austerity holiday law, an amount that is far short of the estimated savings.

Eloy Inos says the shortfall is because too many employees have been granted


The Finance Secretary said close to 1,000 of an estimated 5,000

government employees are exempted from the austerity law which mandates the shutdown of government offices every other Friday.

He says the bulk of exempted government employees' work for the Departments of Public Health and Public Safety.

Health professionals such as doctors and nurses are considered highly skilled , and their wages are higher compared to ordinary government workers.

The austerity holiday law was observed for the third time last Friday.

The next government shutdown is scheduled for October 20th and every other Friday thereafter until September 21st, 2007