-Lawmaker Responds to Salary-Cuts
Amid the collective decision by Lawmakers to slash their salaries in the 2019/2020 National Budget, a member of the House of Representatives has indicated that the decision was not based on external pressure as perceived by many.
Margibi County electoral District # 2 Representative, Ivar K. Jones said Lawmakers committed to the proposal from the Executive to have their salaries slashed due to the prevailing economy crisis faced by the Country.
Speaking to Legislative Reporters yesterday at his Capitol Hill Office, Representative Jones said the salary-cut by Lawmakers is also in adherence with a proposal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The Lawmakers agreed to slash a 31% of their salaries, totaling US$10 million, along with 50% cut in monthly gasoline.
He added that such cut is pursuant to a standard for enrollment in the IMF Program.
According to Rep. Jones, the IMF Team advised that a budget with US$314million in wages could not be a good and realistic budget.
He said against this backdrop, the IMF team advised the government to have the US$314 million captured for salaries reduced to US$290million.
“So based on consultations and the advised of the IMF, as the people Representatives we had to make the ultimate sacrifices for the greater good of our Country,” he added.
The Margibi Lawmaker went on to state that the salary harmonization is a collective decision which no individual can take the glory.
Moreover, he pointed out that there are lots of Lawmakers who are doing more with respect to their salaries in their respective districts.
On the issue of recent salary disclosure by Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon, Representative Jones said more Lawmakers have previously disclosed their salaries.
“When I took over as Lawmaker, I made a commitment to my constituents that I will give 50% of my salary to my district development purposes,” Jones disclosed.
According to him, as per this commitment, from January 15, 2018 to January 3,2019 he remitted to his district Development Council am amount of US$37,870.00 and LRD1,464, 460.
Portion of this amount, the Margibi District Lawmaker revealed that was used to construct the offices of the District Council.
He at the same time differed with those who hold the view that Lawmakers salaries have been a secret, noting that, the national budget clearly speaks to the salary of Lawmakers, saying, it is just that most of the citizens have not make used of the National budget to get the appropriate information on the salary and benefits of Lawmakers.
He concluded by saying, now that Lawmakers have slashed their salaries and benefits, as part of their oversight responsibility, they will ensure that the cut be directed to benefit the citizenry.