Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has called on the government to increase public- and private-sector wages and pensions in response to pro-reform protests staged on 24 April, according to state news agency Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP).

The government has agreed to the concessions ahead of 1 May Labour Day protests. Under the grants the army, Royal Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces and Civil Protection units will benefit.

Public-sector employees will receive an extra $80 a month from 1 May 2011.  The increase in wages is estimated to cost $5bn over three years.

“The royal decision shows the King’s commitment to improving the situation of all social categories of the Moroccan people,” according to a statement from the Royal Cabinet.