A substantial pay increase for Malawi MPs has provoked fury among hard-pressed tax payers and commentators, urging the lawmakers to show “restraint” and take into account the government’s austerity drive.
The gross package of Members of Parliament has doubled from K724, 114 K1.2 million a month while the loan facility has more than tripled from K7 million.
The 100 percent increase has pushed the total wage bill for the 193 Parliamentarians to K270 million a month, K3.2 billion a year and K16.2 million at the end of their five-year term of office.
People have reacted furiously on Facebook and Twitter over the news that MPs are to be handed inflation-busting pay rise.
One of the commentators, academician Jimmy Kainja, who is also a columnist on Nyasa Times thinks it would be simply unacceptable for MPs to get a pay rise at a time of public facilities facing financial problems.
“MPs give themselves 100% pay rise. Meanwhile, Salima district hospital has malfunctioning mortuary for months for lack of K50, 000,” tweeted Kainja.
In his tweet, political analyst at University of Malawi, Dr Boniface Dulani said: “What is the difference [between] Malawi MPs voting for themselves K24m loans ($60,000) half of which is ‘honoraria’ and the Cashgate looters?”
Human rights campaigner Billy Mayaya also condemned the move, saying the MPs should be give the 100% pay increase.
“While key sectors such as health, education continue to suffer from poor service delivery, civil society is appalled by the suggestion that MPs want to raise their perks by 100%. In the meantime teachers and nurses are paid a pittance,” Mayaya told Nyasa Times in an interview.
He warned that civil society may get court action to stop the pay rise for MPs
“Taxpayers refuse to be held hostage by a bunch of selfish so called representatives. These people are not representative of the people who voted for them. In this case, we intend to get a court injunction to stop this nonsense.
“How different are they from perpetrators of cashgate. This is outrageous and we will not allow this buffoonery to happen on our watch,” he said.
The allowances of MPs have also been raised include housing, constituency, vehicle maintenance.
Vehicle maintenance allowance has been the most noticeable skyrocketing from K150, 000 to K600, 000 a month.
Tax payers will at the end of the National Assembly subside MP’s luxurious life by helping them to repay half of the K24 million maximum loan facility each MP is entitled to in a revised scheme.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :