Mexico reduces basic services by 75% in public institutions
Towards the end of June, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador presented an austerity decree establishing severe cuts on public institutions.
Recent austerity policies presented by AMLO include the reduction of unnecessary costs in public offices, but also the reduction of essential services such as water, electricity, gas, and telephone.
Among the measures presented by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), it established that “voluntarily,” the salary of civil servants will be reduced by up to 25%.
This measure, according to AMLO, has been implemented to avoid worker dismissals.
However, employees were forced to sign contracts in which they became "temporary workers” until the end of the year.
The budget cuts didn’t end there.
The austerity decree also states that, apart from the reduction of worker's salaries, three out of four computers will be removed from offices.
There are two options for employees who will have their work equipment taken away: either use their personal computer, or buy the equipment that’s being taken away without any insurance or guarantee.
When answering questions about the austerity measures taking place during a digital era where computers are essential, AMLO replied: “workers can share their computers.”
He even went back in Mexico’s history mentioning José María Morelos, an independence hero, by saying: "Those who fought for the country's freedom did not need computers to achieve their goals.”
— Animal Político (@Pajaropolitico) July 6, 2020
AMLO refuses to accept that times have changed and that public servants cannot fulfill their duties without the necessary tools.
Other regulatory measures also include a reduction of printers in offices, limiting water use and drinking water to 50% per floor building, and encouraging employees to avoid charging their cell phones during work hours.
Also, electricity will be cut by 19:00. In the case that workers need to stay in the office extra hours, they need to submit a form asking for an extension in the use of utilities and will need to use the stairs because elevators will stop working around 18:30.
According to Animal Político, since the beginning of AMLO’s presidential term, Mexico has switched "from an inefficient state to a starving state and neither pole is suitable."
There is little a trimmed government can do to operate effectively and fulfill its obligations.
Ironically, Mexico’s government pretends citizens will follow the law when they don’t even guarantee the rights of their own workers.