Thursday, July 31, 2014

A crime against ordinary citizens

This is our first edition for 2014 and we have revisited the salary increment awarded to Constitutional Appointees, the Executives and the Legislators, in the budget for this year. We are of the view that this is a felony against the ordinary man/woman/child and the taxpayers in general. We have produced a chart above to provide our readers with the extent of the criminality against the ordinary citizen. This is clearly an abuse of power by the people who raise their hands to legislate their own salaries and that of their political masters. It is also a bigger crime by those who proposed the increment to the National Assembly – when they above everybody else know the true state of the economy.

 The people’s representatives in the National Assembly accepted what had been put before them by the Executives and gave their approval without any form of consultation with the people who had voted for them. In doing so the Members of the National Assembly broke a fundamental rule of democracy by acting unilaterally without seeking the opinion of the people (electorates) who will have to pay for the increment.

The local economy will not be able to sustain this increment in the long term and it will become a burden on society. The President, Minsters and MNAs are making sure that they are well taken care of when they finally retire. Currently, there are two former presidents, about ten former ministers and at least seventy-five former MNAs who will all partake in this increment. This is a burden on the economy it will put a lot of pressure on the wealth creation sector of the country. It is common knowledge that government does not generate revenue they fund their activities from money collected from the general public, workers and the business community through various taxes; income tax, VAT, trade tax, CSR to name a few.

A close look at the chart above will show you that the salary increment for the President, Ministers and Members of the National Assembly starts at 62.1% and reaches a high of 215.1%. This is in sharp contrast to what has been awarded to the ordinary workers, which starts at 10% and reaches a high of only 20%.

On top of the monthly salary increment the President, Ministers and MNAs will benefit further with an increment on their annual gratuity and end of term bonus. This is so because the yearly bonus is calculated on their salary for twelve month and 25% of that is paid to them as an end of year gratuity. Additionally to the monthly salary and the yearly gratuity they will also collect an end of term gratuity, which is 50% of their total salary over their term of office.

The President will collect an end of term gratuity of 2.8million rupees, the Vice President will get 2.2million rupees, ministers will be awarded 1.6million rupees, an MNA will pocket 936,450.00 rupees (0.9million).

All kinds of arguments have been put forward by government to justify the increment for the Constitutional appointees and the politicians. However, they have failed to convince public opinion that the self awarded increments are reasonable.

Source: Seyweekly