MPs should be stopped from approving own salaries – Minister

MPs should be stopped from approving own salaries – Minister
Members of Parliament, Uganda

The State Minister of Finance for General Duties, Gabriel Gadison Ajedra has lashed at legislators, saying their recent approval of their salary enhancement by 39 per cent was unnecessary.

Ajedra told reporters at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday 14th afternoon that the issue of MPs increasing their salaries was getting out of hand, adding that there is need for government to consider changing the law to have a salary review Commission decide salaries for all public officers.

The minister was launching the budget month where the public will be made aware of what the budget for running financial year has so far achieved in the run-up to the new one.

Last month, media reports indicated that MPs had increased their allowances by 39 per cent and that of parliamentary staff by 15 per cent, citing rising costs of living. This takes effect from July 1, 2019.

The minister’s disdain with MPs was welcomed by civil society. Julius Mukunda, the Director of Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG), said MPs were taking advantage of a bad law and it was high time it is changed to stop legislators from deciding own pay.

Currently each legislator earns anywhere between Shillings 15m to 30M each month, depending on how far their constituency is from Parliament in Kampala, the seat of their legislative business.

The per capita income for Uganda is just $670 (2.5m shillings), a figure every Ugandan is presumed to earn annually. Ajedra said government has revised up its growth projections for this financial year from 6.0% to 6.3% because the economy had shown signs to grow faster than earlier projected.

“The main drivers of growth in 2018/19 include manufacturing, private construction, public sector investments in infrastructure, recovery in agriculture and services…all these were achievements were supported by the prevailing peace and security,” he said.

On the budget month, the minister listed a couple of activities that will take place up to June 13, 2019 when the national budget for 2019/2020 financial year will be read.