As of next year, Palma City Council workers will have to give up free perks such as massages, acupuncture, dental care, homeopathy, speech therapy, laser operations for eyesight problems and products for sufferers of Coeliac's disease.

Partido Popular (PP) Mayor Mateo Isern said yesterday that the move is being made to comply with new austerity measures being introduced by Central Government to bring down public spending.

The news was passed on to the unions by Civil Service Councillor Irene San Gil but she was able to confirm that there will be some social subsidies retained such as those for spectacles, teeth implants, fillings, false teeth and some orthopaedic items. Availability will however depend on the salary that each civil servant earns.

San Gil also said that all subsidies which had formerly been made availabe for university study courses would now be eliminated, thus saving 100'000 euros a year.

They lose subsidies for:

• University careers
• Massage
• Acupuncture
• General Dental care
• Homeopathic treatment
• Speech therapy
• Laser operations for eyesight problems
• Products for those suffering from Coeliac's disease
• Privileges of early retirement

What civil servants can still keep: social subsidies remain for:

• Spectacles
• Teeth Implants
• Teeth fillings
• False teeth
• Some orthopaedic items