MPs demand salary hike

 MPs demand salary hike
Published: 24 May 2019 (139 Views)
PARLIAMENT is seriously considering a request for the review of salaries and allowances paid to legislators and Senators in the wake of increases in the cost of living.

This was after independent MP for Norton Temba Mliswa highlighted to the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda how salaries for members of the august House have been eroded by runaway inflation.

MPs earn a basic salary of about $2 000 per month while their sitting allowances range between $800 and $1 000 monthly.

Mudenda said the MPs' grievances were legitimate and that the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders will look into their concerns.

"The first (grievance) one under welfare, I think it goes without saying that you have a valid point and we should be able to deliberate on that issue tomorrow (yesterday). It is on the agenda of the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (CSRO)," Mudenda said.

The CSRO derives its existence from Section 151 of the Constitution.

It is the policy-making organ of Parliament, mandated to consider all such matters concerning Parliament, as it deems fit, which includes appointment of members to serve on committees, determining the conditions of service of staff of Parliament and appointment of staff of Parliament.

The CSRO is made up of the Speaker of the National Assembly (chairperson), president of the Senate (deputy chairperson), deputy speaker, deputy president of the Senate, minister of Finance and two other ministers appointed by the president, the leader of government business, the leader of the opposition, chief whips of all parties represented in Parliament, the president of the National Council of Chiefs, eight members elected by Parliament, four from each House and two members appointed by the Speaker of the National Assembly and the president of the Senate.

On Wednesday during Parliament's question and answer session, Mliswa said runaway inflation has eroded incomes for the legislators.

Mliswa also said the fuel situation in the country was negatively impacting on the legislators' work and called on government to identify a fuel station to supply only MPs so that they do not risk their lives when they mingle with an "angry" public in fuel queues.

"I think the fuel situation requires probably a specific service station to be allocated to members of Parliament because what is happening is totally impossible.  

"We get fuel coupons but we have no access to the fuel.  

"The queues which are there, for us to be seen having to jump the queues again creates a lot of problems because the anger which is on the ground is not healthy," Mliswa said.

"The other issue is that of salaries. You know that interbank rate is 3,2 but our salaries have remained the same. Members of Parliament too have obligations to pay school fees for their children and to pay their workers as well.   

"So the money that we are getting does not really take us anywhere.

"As such, a review is needed. The allowances that members of Parliament are given come much later as well and by the time they get to them, because of inflation which you are aware of, everything is eaten away," he complained.

The MPs also demanded improved conditions of service arguing they are not being accorded the same treatment as other arms of the State namely the judiciary and executive.

- dailynews

Tags: Salary,
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