Salary expenses for civil servants and the armed forces increased 58.4 percent since late last year, said the Finance Ministry. "Salary expenses increased to US$30.9 million per month in the first quarter ... from $19.5 million per month at the end of last year," Minister Keat Chhon told the National Assembly on Wednesday. He added that higher tax revenues have allowed the government to increase total spending on salaries by 20 percent per year. Pich Bunthin, secretary of state for the State Secretariat of Public Functions, said Thursday that Cambodia has 170,000 public servants excluding soldiers and police. Government salaries average $35 per month in the Kingdom.