Murekezi explains about politicians’ pay
The government would like to improve the pay of the country’s politicians but is constrained by a little resource base, according to the Minister of Public Service and Labour.
Anastase Murekezi was appearing before lawmakers on standing committee on Social Affairs, discussing the Draft Organic Law determining allowances and benefits for the country’s topmost politicians.
The bill comes as the government seeks to reorganise remunerations package. so as to harmonise it with the upcoming general restructuring of salaries in the public service.
Murekezi’s comments came after MPs, last week, asked him to explain why other leaders – including Director Generals, and local government authorities, are given a full tax waiver on vehicles in addition to a 50 percent lump sum yet MPs only get the lump sum.
“I wish we could find means how government support in the budget would increase,but we are even still wondering if that government support of 50 percent is manageable,” the Minister said.
Murekezi noted that government is worried that its earlier decisions to give tax free vehicles to DGs, local government authorities, and others, could have been taken hurriedly.
“If we now start backtracking, how many mistakes would we bring about? These are things we have started thinking about”.
“Thus, the Prime Minister has requested the Ministry of Finance to think about this issue very seriously, very profoundly, and come up with a report that we shall consider carefully basing on the zero fleet policy and be able to see what the government can really afford.
“When we look at the budget, we see it as a difficult problem because state resources are very limited. The zero fleet policy is becoming a problem. We think we should revise issues but we do not have a clear proposal to go with until next year when that study is concluded.”
The Minister noted that even when it comes to the issue of increasing lawmakers’ remuneration, the country’s limited resources is a binding factor.
“We thought that, even in Parliament, let’s examine other ways of ensuring there is a possibility of improving conditions of work without necessarily giving money,” Murekezi said.
According to the bill, the state of high-ranking political leaders is classified into four categories on the basis of the weight of their jobs.
The first category shall comprise the President of the Republic, while the second category is that of the Prime Minister, the President of Senate and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
Ministers; Vice Presidents of Senate; Deputy Speakers; State Ministers; Governors of Provinces and the Mayor of the City of Kigali are in the third category. The fourth comprises Senators and Deputies.
According to the minister, the fourth category will in July get a 30 percent salary increment. Net salaries of deputies will increase from Rwf 682,512, to Rwf889, 912, and Senators from Rwf 714,818,to Rwf 932, 297,. This also comes as MPs also move from class J to F in terms of the salary level classification of the public service.
Meanwhile, their house allowance will more than double – from a current monthly allowance of Rwf 100,000 to Rwf 250,000. The minister also said that government is also proposing a 10 percent salary increment “for all politicians,” every three years.