Thursday, 7 April 2011

Shs40million for MPs in offing

Inflation might be causing you headache but this story might even worsen it. How on earth can an MP in a banana republic like Uganda pocket Shs40million after every 30 days of dodging plenary sessions in Parliament?
But the reality is that the MPs are already discussing the issue of increasing their pay. The discussion is spearheaded by the old MPs who have returned to the House after the recent elections. The idea is that the new MPs are broke and are expected to support the move.
The new salary will only benefit the next parliament. Sources in the Treasury have told me that the matter has gained momentum but they are wondering how to implement such a need from the political class.
The new salary is actually instigated by the ministers who are aware that if the new salary passes, they would benefit more than ordinary MPs.
Currently, MPs get Shs13million before tax while Ministers get between Shs16 to 18 million. Ministers earn as MPs then are also paid responsibility allowance, airtime, fuel etc by the government. This means that if the MPs pay increases, automatically the allowances for ministers also increase.
Technocrats worry that as  long as the Constitution is not ammended to provide for an independent commission to determine pay for politicians, the taxpayer will pay through the nose for the comfort of the political class.
The new salary demand is likely to get the nod of President Museveni who will reportedly use that to make parliament endorse many of his pending projects. The idea is to bring such projects on Order paper  nearly at the same time with the new wage proposal.

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