The Albanian government will ask the public whether it should regularly publish everyone’s salaries considering the alleged “positive effects” of the illegal leak of the salaries of 630 thousand people obtained from the databases of government agencies.
In a Monday press conference regarding the government’s fight against the informal economy, Rama claimed that after the publication of salaries last December, about 25 percent of those employed had seen their salaries increase.
This was due to public and government pressure on companies, he explained, because companies had declared lower salaries for their employees in order to avoid higher taxes.
The December 2021 leak of the personal data of Albanian citizens, which are protected by data privacy laws, was one of several large data leaks that plagued the Albanian government last year.
Rama condemned the leak and blamed it on the opposition, while coming to the defense of the senior officials at the responsible agencies.
Back in December, only two low-level public officers were arrested for their role in the matter. Immediately after, the prime minister gave companies less than a month to update their payrolls and declare the actual salaries they pay their employees, rather than the numbers they submit to avoid higher taxes.
Citing these alleged “positive results” of the data leaks, on Monday Rama vowed to ask the public, in the next “national consultation”, whether the government should publish salaries annually.
The national consultation was a survey conducted and controlled by the government this year, outside public scrutiny, through which it claimed to have received public support on a number of crucial policies, including a controversial amnesty enabling Albanian emigrants to deposit savings in Albanian banks, and the legalization of the production of medical cannabis in the country.
The survey administered by his team, with lack of transparency and questionable scientific standards, will be repeated according to government needs, and Rama has vowed to fully comply with the results they will announce.
Regarding the possible publication of salaries in the future, the prime minister said that in a number of countries this has produced positive results, as transparency has put positive pressure on companies to adjust salaries accordingly.
The payroll leak scandal followed a previous government scandal in which all personal data of Albanian voters were leaked to the public.