The government and representatives of civil servants today failed to reach agreement on new salaries for civil servants. Negotiations will continue on Friday. The government offered a salary adjustment which will see the lowest paid civil servant getting a basic salary of US$375 a month but civil servants representatives said the offer was unacceptable. Civil servants have been demanding a basic salary equivalent to the current poverty datum line set by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe which is US$540. The government says the poverty datum line is US$500. The lowest paid employee currently earns a basic salary of US$296 a month. Salaries already consume 73 percent of the government expenditure leaving almost nothing for capital expenditure which is badly needed because of the deteriorating infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund Staff Monitored Programme which was extended for another six months to June recommends that the government should gradually adjust its recurrent expenditure to make sure that salaries consume no more than 30 percent of the budget.