Cuba Loosens Limits on Home Ownership, Salaries

State workers can now own houses; salary cap is gone
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 12, 2008 7:59 AM CDT
People line up outside the Telecommunications Company of Cuba in Havana, March 28, 2008. New President Raul Castro's government has authorized ordinary Cubans to obtain cellular telephones.   (AP Photo/Javier Galeano)
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(Newser) – Raul Castro continues to lighten up on some of Cuba's least popular restrictions, ending salary caps and allowing retiring state workers to take title to the homes they live in. Government employees, including members of the military, sugar and construction workers, doctors, and teachers, will now be able keep their places after retirement, and legally pass them on to their children, the AP reports.

Ending wage limits is designed to boost productivity. "Salaries in Cuba for workers have deteriorated a lot,” notes the central workers’ union secretary. The changes follow recent moves easing access to electronics like cell phones, DVD players, and microwaves, as well as allowing locals to stay in tourist hotels.