(ANSA) - Rome, September 13 - Eighteen Italian public-sector managers still benefit from annual salaries in excess of the 294,000-euro cap set by Premier Mario Monti's government in its battle to slash government spending and lower Italy’s massive public debt. The data was released by Civil Service Minister Filippo Patroni Griffi at a parliament hearing on Thursday. Patroni Griffi specified the figures he had available refer to only 37 public administration bodies that had been involved in the research report, out of a total of 80. The minister was answering questions about the monitoring carried out on the application of the 'Save Italy' decree introduced by Monti's government after he was appointed in November 2011 to replace outgoing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Monti's government said it was addressing the nation's 1.95-trillion-euro debt load as a top priority after being appointed. An initial 35-billion-euro spending cuts package had been introduced earlier, followed by an additional 26 billion euros of public spending reductions over the next three years. He also announced plans to lay off some 24,000 government employees. Of the total of 80 public-sector bodies that are affected by the salary cap, only 37 responded to a questionnaire sent round by Patroni Griffi's ministry. Patroni Griffi specified that of the 80 entities, some 15 oversaw public parks and as such were in the lower end of the salary bracket. Some members of parliament told Patroni Griffi that they were favourable to some form of salary-cap exemption, particularly in cases where there were significant risks and responsibilities tied to the job, such as in the case of the head of the Italian police force or the Italian inland revenue. Patroni Griffi said he would refer this request to Monti.