| MAYORS' salaries will be based upon the number of inhabitants in their towns and will never exceed that of a Secretary of State under any circumstances, says the ministry of tax affairs and public administration.
Using wages of high-level politicians and civil servants at national level, mayors' maximum pay packets will be worked out on a pro-rata basis in accordance with how many people live in the municipality they lead.
The maximum overall is around 68,000 euros, which is what a Secretary of State would earn, and it is likely that only mayors of large cities will have salaries as high as this.
Until wage tables are properly worked out by the ministry, leaders of cities with a population of over a million will be paid an average Secretary of State's salary.
The new rule will mean thousands of mayors will see their earnings plummet – particularly those of Madrid and Barcelona, Ana Botella and Xavier Trias respectively, who currently take home over 100,000 euros a year.
Mayors of provincial capitals will probably find their salaries are between approximately 50,000 and 59,000 euros – similar to that of an Assistant Secretary of State for the latter and a Director-General of a provincial or borough council (Diputación) department for the former.
Those who govern in smaller towns or villages will receive a pro-rata of a Director-General's wage in relation to population numbers.
Councillors will see their own salaries capped in proportion to that of the mayor and numbers will be reduced by between 20 and 30 per cent depending upon the size of the town, village or city and its budget.
The central government aims to clarify responsibilities in local councils to ensure that as few as possible have councillors with only one specialism and that there is limited duplication of tasks.