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Govt withdraws proposals to increase MPs’ salaries

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

PARLIAMENT has withdrawn the controversial Members of Parliament Salaries (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations which propose to increase the salaries of the prime minister, his deputy, ministers as well as legislators.

The withdrawal is to enable Public Service Minister, Semano Sekatle, to revise the proposals and present amendments which address the MPs’ concerns that ministers wanted to award themselves a huge 10 percent salary increment.

The proposals were tabled in parliament by Minister Sekatle late last month but were met with hostility by some MPs and the public in general who argued that cabinet ministers wanted to award themselves hefty increments at a time when the economy was struggling and government was failing to pay service providers who are owed more than M1 billion.

They were tabled together with ‘Statutory Salaries (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations 2020’ which propose to increase the salaries of heads of key state institutions such as the chief justice.

Last week Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhothu said it had been wrongly assumed that cabinet ministers wanted to award themselves 10 percent salary increments when they were only getting a 5 percent increment along with civil servants who were awarded the increment when then Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro presented the 2020/21 budget in February this year.

Mr Mokhothu then proposed the indefinite postponement of debates on the proposed increments to enable the proposals to be “better understood” by MPs and the public in general.

Parliament on Friday voted to withdraw the regulations to allow Mr Sekatle to revise the proposals and present amendments which take into account the MPs’ concerns about the ministers’ proposed salary increments.

When they were first presented, the proposals sought to increase the salaries of the prime minister, his deputy, legislators as well as heads of key state institutions.

This will result in the premier and his deputy pocketing M709 296 and M612 564 annually respectively.

The prime minister will earn M59 108 per month while his deputy will take home M51 047 monthly. The premier currently earns M56 283 while his deputy pockets M48 416 monthly.

MPs’ salaries will be increased to M431 604 per annum. This translates to earnings of M37 633, 67 each per month. MPs currently earn M35 853 each per month.

The Chief Justice will earn M619 788 per annum up from M590 268 while High Court judges and the attorney general will take home M511 968 per annum up from M487 5854.

The Ombudsman, Auditor General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, chairperson of the Public Service Commission and chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission will all pocket M502 272 per annum. They are all currently earning M478 344 or M39 862 monthly.

Members of the Public Service Commission and the Independent Electoral Commission will each earn M451 752 per annum up from M430 236.

 

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