GOVERNMENT has slashed the salaries of members of parliament after the legislators’ recent refusal to adopt a parliamentary report recommending salary increments for them and other officials in the parastatals.
Beginning end of December 2019, the government will also deduct at least M20 000 from each legislator which had been paid out as part of the increments which the MPs subsequently refused to endorse over a week ago.
This was said by Public Service Minister, Tsukutlane Au, while addressing parliament in the aftermath of the legislators’ refusal to adopt the proposals for the increments contained in the Members of Parliament Salaries (Amendment Schedule) Regulations of 2019 and the Statutory Salaries (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations of 2019 published in a government gazette of October 2019.
The two pieces of legislation were meant “to review the salaries of the members of parliament and officials in statutory positions according to different categories and ranks, and repeal and replace the previous regulations on salaries of members of parliament and statutory positions”.
Had they been adopted by parliament, this would have confirmed the increase of the MPs’ annual salaries from M413 668 to M430 236.
The salary increments were supposed to be have implemented in the 2018/19 financial year and it appears that they had already been effected but will now have to reversed after the legislators’ refusal to endorse the increments.
The legislators especially those from the opposition argued against the increments saying this would further impoverish the already overburdened taxpayers.
The MPs voiced their views on the salary increments when the report on the proposed increments was tabled by the Portfolio Committee on the Prime Minister’s Ministries, Departments, Governance, Foreign Relations and Information in parliament.
Mr Au said the government had already increased the MPs and those of officials in charge of parastatals by three percent but these increments automatically fell off the moment the MPs refused to endorse them.
He said the government had so far paid out at least M20 000 to each MPs after the increments and beginning in December 2019, the state would make deductions from the legislators to recover the said amount.
“Last Monday (11 November 2019) the chairperson of the portfolio committee on Prime Minister’s Ministries and Departments tabled a report on the members of parliament’s salaries in this house. The report also captured statutory salaries regulations. This honourable house advised itself to reject the regulations seeking to increase theirs and statutory holders’ salaries,” Mr Au recently told parliament.
“We have to respect decisions of this house. We are therefore going to recover monies that had already been paid to members as a three percent salary increment. The lowest paid member received M900 per month as a three percent salary increment and in total, such a member received plus or minus M20 000. We will therefore began deductions to recover that money from December 2019. Salaries will also go back to the old ones beginning next month,” Mr Au said.
He said the deductions would also affect ministers, senators, heads of statutory bodies, judges, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Ombudsman and others.