President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has decided to raise the president’s salary by 2 500 lari (USD 1 450).

There has been talk about increasing the president’s pay for the last week and on Tuesday the governing Georgian Dream coalition asked parliament to approve raising it from 9 000 to 11 500 lari (USD 6 700).

Last week, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri told journalists that the only source of income for the new president is his salary, ‘unlike the previous president.’

He also said that there are planned important changes in the president’s administration, such as reducing staff.

“This body won’t have many functions anymore, and there will be enough resources to put in order the labor compensation,” he explained, referring to the new constitutional amendments which significantly reduced the power of the president.

“Many expenses which the previous president used to spend will no longer be spent.”

The finance minister explained that after taxes, President Margvelashvili will receive 7 200 lari (USD 4 200). Today his net salary after taxes is 4 720 lari (USD 2 760).

Margvelashvili said in a brief comment Tuesday that his pay rise is made in order to be in line with the level of other state salaries.

The government also plans to allocate an additional 137 million lari (USD 80 million) to increase the salaries of public employees next year.

This is defined in the 2014 draft budget, which parliament will start reviewing today. Financing for parliament will increase, as will financing for the State Audit Office, the Prosecutor’s Office and all the ministries.

Nodar Khaduri explains that the salaries will not increase for managers, but staff at the courts and the Prosecutor’s Office will get their salaries increased.

There is allocated 1 318 000 000 lari (USD 766 457 315) in the 2014 budget draft for salaries of official body employees. This is 137 million lari more than last year.