Parliament Insists on MPs Pay Raise, Says Its ‘A Mere Adjustment’

Uganda Parliament

The Parliamentary Commission has said the increment on Members of Parliament`s salary by 40 percent is not an increase but a mere adjustment and should not worry the tax payers.

According to the Commission, ambulance the proposed pay adjustment for MP is meant to align it with current market trends/prices.

On implementation, there the legislators are likely to have their monthly take-home shoot to Shs 30million.

The figure significantly contrast with the reality of the market especially when compared to other public servants like doctors in public referral hospitals who get an average of Shs 1.7m, as well as teachers, UPDF and Police officers whose monthly income is around Shs. 300,000.

In a statement released on Friday, Commissioner Reagan Okumu said there is no increment in pay but rather an adjustment to match realities, as is normally done in other government departments.

“There is no increment in MPs’ pay or emoluments. What we are doing is adjusting what was given about eleven years ago. There has been repeated increment in fuel pump prices but the Commission did not adjust the mileage allowance accordingly,” Hon. Okumu said.

The Parliamentary Commission has proposed an adjustment in Members’ fuel allowance from Shs 2500 to Shs 3500 per kilometre starting next financial year 2015/2016.

It should be noted that price of fuel is getting down due to the major decline on the global prices.

Government treasury has already expressed inability to fund this pay raise, citing a constrained resource pool.

Okumu dismissed media reports that the Commission had increased members’ pay “to motivate them ahead of next year’s elections.”

He also said that last year’s consolidation of MPs’ salary and allowances ensured that they pay taxes on all emoluments.

Following benchmarking from similar institutions, the Commission resolved to also improve staff emoluments in order to attract and retain competent staff in the Parliamentary Service, he added.

He said that staff and top executives in other self-accounting and semi-autonomous bodies receive better pay and facilitation than in the Parliamentary Service.

“Everything that happens in government is processed by Parliament. Parliament is the symbol of sovereignty and pride of the country,” he said, adding that, “We must attract highly qualified staff and they must be well facilitated.”

He cited India, where staffs are paid better than legislators because of their importance as technical people having the institution’s memory.

“(Some) MPs leave (after five years) whereas staffs stay. Already we’ve lost a number of seasoned and experienced staff,” he said.

“We need to be efficient, need quality work and to retain staff and memory.”


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