16th December 2018
Wage Bills Increase to Le2.40 Trillion from 2.07 Trillion as MPs Face Opposition!
By a press release (05/11/18)
Sierra Leone Finance Minister has projected to increase wage bill to 2.40 trillion leones from 2.07 trillion as parliamentarians face stiff opposition.
Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa's 2019 budget in parliament which was relayed and streamed live on radio, television and the internet by various media houses on Friday November 2, touched on the statement of economic and financial policies. (Photo: Finance Minister JJ Saffa recently read the Budget in Freetown).
In his maiden National Budget, Minister JJ Saffa disclosed his ambition to consolidate and strengthen domestic revenue mobilisation in accordance with efficient and prudent fiscal expenditure. He said that the projected total budgetary resources is Le7.03 trillion from which appropriation is estimated at slightly over Le6.9 trillion for the services of Sierra Leone and for other related matters.
"Subject to parliamentary scrutiny and subsequent approval, the said amount will be granted to the government of Sierra Leone for the 2019 fiscal year that should be applied and expended on the several services set forth in its schedule," Minister Saffa noted.
The Minister also spoke on the need for strengthening an independent and effective oversight of public sector projects by making provision for the procurement of goods and services. Relating to wages and salaries, he said the Government wage bill is projected to increase to Le 2.40 Trillion from Le 2.07 Trillion in 2017.
He said the increase of Le400 billion to the wage bill will cater for the recruitment of 5000 teachers, 3000 health sector workers and 1000 police officers in 2019.
JJ Saffa also said that the salary of civil servants, teachers, police and military personnel in grades 1 to 6 will increase by ten percent and those in grades 7 to 14 by 5 percent, effective January 2019.
Parliament is expected to examine and debate the 2019 National Budget this week for certain allotted days in the presence of officials from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, before committal for the scrutiny of the various budgetary heads.
Courtesy: Department of Public Relations Parliament of Sierra Leone +23278495023/+23277669726/+23278426851
Sierra Leone People Call for the Rejection of Salary Increase for Parliamentarians!
By a press release
The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International is leading the call for government to reject salary increment for parliamentarians.
CHRDI and Sierra Leoneans are calling on the SLPP government not to allow members of parliament to pass the bill on the gargantuan increase of their salaries and other benefits, including wardrobe allowances. (Photo: Speaker of the House Dr. Abass Bundu also favours salary increment for MPs).
"We believe this decision represents a backward step in the desire to effect adherence to the rule of law and fundamental rights for Sierra Leonean citizens across the country," a CHRDI press statement reads.
"The general public’s trust in political institutions, including parliament, has been undermined in recent decades by prominent scandals, allegations of corruption, and other breaches of acceptable behaviour by elected officials across the country. At first glance, political representation in a liberal democracy such as Sierra Leone is a straightforward concept.
"About every five years, at national level, there is an election where citizens elect their representative in parliament. CHRDI believes that a strong representative democracy needs an open and transparent government and that politicians should represent their communities and protect the public interests.
"CHRDI notes with considerable alarm this very unfair behaviour by our members of parliament. This Bill lacks consideration for the public interest and it is not justifiable under the current economic status of the country.
"As a respectable rights based public social policy advocacy organisation, we are charged with the responsibility to draw attention to the responsibility of duty bearers to uphold human rights and seek to support rights holders to claim their rights.
"We are actively involved in promoting participatory democracy, accountability and gender equity, through social, economic, political and human capacity building of the populace.
"We see this as a total disregard of the will of majority Sierra Leoneans to build a better economy after a decade of plunder by the same politicians and we wish to reiterate our avowed stance against wasteful economic practices, going forward.
"Therefore, we are calling on parliamentarians to withdraw their proposal with immediate effect in the public interest," concludes CHRDI.
Note: Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI ) is a Rights based Public social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.
Courtesy: CHRDI-Human Rights and Policy Brief
Claudia Anthony Dismayed to Learn about the 300% Increase Members of Parliament!
Dear Honourable Members of the Second Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.
I am extremely concerned and dismayed to learn about the 300 percent increase Members of Parliament are recommending they should receive. (Photo: Parliament).
As at 2017, every parliamentarian received Le16 million as salary. There is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which provided Le62 million annually to every Member of Parliament. This gives an additional Le 5,167,000 monthly; so at the end of the day, your monthly take-home is Le 21,167,000. And, as you know, here’s how you come about the Le 5,167,000 I just mentioned: Le 62 million CDF annually divided by 12 calendar months.
Now, almost on a daily basis, the President, Julius Maada Bio and his entire administration, complain about budget deficit and a run-down economy. So can you kindly inform me, where you expect this 300 percent rise to come from?
You go cap-in-hand across the world due to the pitiable state of the country’s economy, and at the same time, expect tax payers and the state, to foot your bills for what one of your colleagues pertinently illustrated on radio this morning: Honourable Mohamed Bangura from Constituency 066 in the Karene District on November 2, 2018, described on Radio Democracy that part of the increase you are demanding would be used by you to contribute to constituents’: “pul na do, mared, kraj bɛrin …” By this, Honourable Bangura made it clear that you would utilise some of the money to make donations to babies’ naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, … in your various constituencies.
Why don’t you use your personal money for it rather than demand tax payers and the state pay for it? This is going too low: it falls short of any of your three main functions, namely: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government through hearings and inquiries.
Besides, your constituents are waiting on you to facilitate a process, whereby their current earnings will enable them – as it does not do so now – access the basics in life. Instead of negotiating terms for an improved life for them, you decided to put yourselves first. I want to believe that was not why your constituents elected you. How then can they afford the things you promised on your election campaign?
On this note, I am herewith recommending to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone to set up an independent body similar to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Based at Westminster, it standardizes MPs’ salaries, expenses, sets rules that support compliance, amongst other things.
Claudia Anthony, citizen and resident of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Goderich, Western Area Rural
C/C: Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice President, State Avenue, Freetown; Professor David J. Francis, Chief Minister, State House, State Avenue, Freetown