"Public employees lose 243 euros today", headlines Jornal de Negócios, as the first wages of 2011 are paid. The measure, part of the austerity plan announced by the government at the end of 2010 affects around 350,000 state employees, who face an average cut of €243 euros on their gross salary, or €3400 annually. The state expects the cuts to generate a saving of some €1.19 billion in the central, regional and local administrations. However, Lisbon daily i notes that the cuts are even more severe than expected. “A salary that in December was 2137 euros is now 2045 euros, a decrease of 4.301% instead of the expected 4%.” Talking to the daily, a tax expert lambasts the government’s lack of clarity on the wage cuts. “This strategy has only one purpose: to confuse people”, he says.