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MPs To Get A Bigger Pay Pack

  • The current payment of Rs 500 for their attendance in Parliament will be increased to Rs 2,500
  • An MP travelling to Parliament is paid an allowance to get 284 liters of fuel per month
  • The actual salary and the facilities seem far better off

 

by Hafsa Sabry

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament

Even though there had been public criticism that Ministers and MPs were getting far too much facilities and comforts while the ordinary people were struggling for existence, the wages for them had been increased up to Rs. 100,000 through a cabinet approval recently.

Following the increments in various sectors made in the budget proposals 2017, the Prime Minister made a proposal which was approved by the cabinet of ministers to increase their salaries up to Rs.100,000 apart from their allowances and facilities given by the government of Sri Lanka.

The Prime Minister claimed that if the MPs and the ministers are to be given more responsibilities to be performed under their electorates, the salaries and allowances paid to them should be increased allowing them to work more independently.

Accordingly, MPs will be paid an amount of Rs. 100,000 per month on each office maintained by 225 Members of Parliament. In addition, the current payment of Rs. 500 for their attendance in Parliament will be increased to Rs 2,500.

Earlier there was a proposal to pay Rs. 75,000 as office rent allowance and Rs. 5,000 attendance allowance for committee meetings. Replacing this proposal, the new proposal made by the Prime Minister has been introduced, instead of the earlier move.

Accordingly a Parliamentarian is entitled for a total allowance Rs. 20,000 per month on eight days’ attendance in Parliament meetings.

The Prime Minister, during the debate on the allocations for the Office of the President and Parliament said, “There is no use giving more responsibilities to MPs without giving them more facilities. MPs must be paid better salaries.

I am aware many lawmakers face problems. They must be paid Rs. 100,000 monthly to carry out work in their electorates. Those who are against it can reject it,” adding that in countries such as the United States and India many more facilities were given to MPs including air travel warrants and therefore, air travel facilities to MPs from the North and East must be provided too.

The Prime Minister also said more vehicle facilities too were needed for MPs and he knows he will be criticised for saying this, but this is necessary, he stressed.

The Prime Minister said the MPs salaries were far below than what was paid to professionals and those in the other
sectors.

Hence the salary scales needed to be revised adding that he could manage it somehow though his wife gets paid more than him.

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said that the health insurance coverage of Rs. 200,000 given to MPs was inadequate and should be raised to at least Rs. 500,000. “It is important for MPs to be in good health if they are to carry out their responsibilities as elected representatives,” he said. It is also learned that steps were being taken to increase insurance coverage offered to an MP and already negotiations have begun with an Australian Insurance Company.

However, responding to the criticism made by some members of Sri Lanka People’s Front (SLPF) of the wage hike, the cabinet spokesperson and the Minister for Media, Gayantha Karunatillake said if anyone is against the move by the government to increase the wage for the parliamentarians they could give up on their hike.

Karunatillake also said the move of providing better facilities and comforts was to make the parliamentarians independent and enable them to fulfill their responsibilities as elected representatives of the people.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Muthu Sivalingam told The Sunday Leader it is important that the ministers and the MPs get an increment as they do have families and children as every other employee in the country.

“As far as I could remember the payment for a parliamentary sitting was Rs. 500 ever since and no changes were made. I have been there in the parliament for almost 25 years and have been paid the same amount for a sitting with no increment,” Sivalingam told The Sunday Leader.

It is unable to manage with Rs. 500 for a sitting compared to the cost of living these days. Hence it is good that the payment for sitting was increased, he said. For the MPs and ministers from the north and east the electorate, it’s a long distance from Colombo whereas the ministries and the head offices are in Colombo and they have to travel quite a long way even to come to the parliament. Therefore it is a must that proper transportation facilities are provided as travelling is not easy at times, he noted.

Sivalingam also said if there is any problem confronted by anyone, the ministers have to come to Colombo to have discussions. “The Prime Minister expects us to work hard and in our given electorates and that is the reason why he has proposed for increments as well. I welcome the move by the government and the Prime Minister,” he added.

Though the impression made by the parliamentarians and the Prime Minister, who argue they should be paid more of an allowance and salary, seems to be that they get a lower amount of money for a month, the actual salary and the facilities seem far better off.

According to available data the President’s salary is Rs. 97,500 and the MPs salary is Rs. 54,285. Theses salaries are paid by the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

A Cabinet Minister is paid Rs. 65,000 from the Ministry he/she is responsible for and the transport facilities are provided as ministry expenditures. A Cabinet Minister is allowed to have three vehicles, including the official vehicle and security jeep.

Apart from the fixed salary, MPs are also given a transport allowance of Rs. 10,000, an entertainment allowance of Rs. 1,000 and a telephone allowance of Rs. 50,000 a month.

The MPs are also provided a fuel allowance based on the distance that has to be travelled and is calculated from the MP’s base district to the parliament. An MP who is travelling from Colombo to Parliament is paid an allowance to obtain almost 284 liters of fuel per month, while an MP travelling from the north is paid similarly for 640 liters of fuel.

In addition to all this, every MP and Cabinet Minister was paid Rs. 500 for attendance, every time they take part in a parliamentary session which has been increased up to Rs. 2,500.

5 Comments for “MPs To Get A Bigger Pay Pack”

  1. sathees

    Who is to verify the MP’s do performance?

  2. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    what about their free electricity which may be close to 200000 per month which rights to information has not given. This government we elected into power is certain to all within a year if they do not see the burden they are placing on we the people

  3. kudson

    how many security personal does an MP have what is their salary
    what is the salary of the drivers of the 3 vehicles and the security jeep
    rough estimate is an MP costs about 700,000 rupees per month
    without the Rs 2500 attendance fee
    whopys his electricity and water bills

  4. Half of them have not passed the eighth grade and earn 200, 000 /- plus a month. Outside the parliament you need Masters degree or be a very productive person to earn that much! These MP blokes only eat a hearty meal at the Parliament cafeteria and have a good after noon nap and are paid for that! god save Sri lanka.

  5. I am shocked and flabbergasted when SL PM proposed salary increase for 225 members of parliament. I wanted to express my total displeasure and anger that the way how SL dirty politics works; MP’s are so called people’s representatives and offering MP’s with all the perks and financial incentives asking citizen to tight there belt and sacrifice for betterment of the country is showing what kind of people we are sent to the parliament, we as people responsible for current political culture in the island because we choose our own representatives most democratic way. Next time elect whom you can trust and who has an amicable record as a private citizen. People time has arrived not to do mistakes like we did past years. Elect corrupt free people!

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