The public sector payroll rose 13.5% in 2019 to 16,767 million Tunisian dinars (MD) against 14,776 MD in 2018, the Central Bank of Tunis (BCT) said in its annual report.
The wage bill represents 63.4% of the State’s operating expenditures, despite the adoption of a hiring freeze policy and the non-renewal of the tax credit measure, the BCT said.
Operating expenditures, notably in relation to wages and subsidization, have the lion’s share to the detriment of investment expenditure.
Consequently, operating expenditures posted 11.6% rise in 2019 against 10.5% in 2018, reaching 26,426 MD.
They were pushed higher by the ongoing increase of the public sector wage bill after hikes agreed in early 2019 and subsidization (fuel, transport and commodities) the BCT said.
Considering the continuous increase of operating expenditures, in addition to those related to servicing debt interests, the State’s overall expenses edged up 11.9% in 2019 against 10.1% in 2018, standing at 42,254.3 MD.
However, the BCT projected a deceleration in the pace of the increase of overall operating expenditures for 2020, putting forward a figure of 28,263 MD.
Costs of subsidization are expected to slow down concurrently with falling oil prices.