By LUKE KAMA
A MEMBER of Parliament says he is paid each fortnight around K12,700 in net salary and allowances, which is nothing compared to what ministers, governors and MPs appointed to various offices get.
Madang MP Bryan Kramer, who aims to expose government processes and systems he believes are unfair and unjust, told The National that citizens were footing the bill. Ordinary MPs such as him, not elected or appointed to other positions in parliament, receive around K12,756 a fortnight – K2158 in net pay and K10,598 in allowances, he said.
“It is the lowest compared to the salaries and privileges MPs who hold ministerial portfolios, governors or those appointed to positions in the government system,” he said.
He said his gross fortnightly salary was K4038 from which a tax of K1274 and 15 per cent Superannuation (K605.81) were deducted, leaving a take-home pay of K2158 per fortnight.
“Such an amount seems rather reasonable to what most middle to senior managers in a medium-size company would receive,” Kramer said.
“But the difference is the K10,598 in allowances received, comprising accommodation (K2486), electoral allowance (K3036), electoral vehicle (K3082), electoral vehicle operating costs (K475), personal vehicle allowance (K1142), personal vehicle operating costs (K298) and utilities (K79).
“It seems that an MP, depending on the office he is appointed or elected to, receives cash allowances for everything but the kitchen sink,” he said.
He said the allowances were tax-free.
Kramer said based on the fortnightly K12,756, an ordinary MP would be paid K331,657 a year, or K1.6 million over a five-year parliamentary term.
“So where does all this money come from? It’s from the ordinary citizens,” he said.
Kramer said Cabinet ministers, the Opposition Leader and his deputy, Speaker and those chairing parliamentary committees were paid much more in salaries and allowances.
Ombudsman Richard Pagen, during the induction for new MPs earlier this year, said ministers were getting well over K20,000 a fortnight.
Personnel Management Secretary John Kali said yesterday that MPs received different amounts a fortnight.
“I cannot confirm whether a MP receives K12,000-plus a fortnight because all members receive different salary rates,” he said.
“Different members according to their positions as ministers or deputy or chairman of a parliamentary committee or open members and regional members, whatever, receive different allowances.
“Their salaries are different. So it’s very difficult to say that they all get the same amount of money.
“Their payroll is controlled by Parliament.”
Kali said salaries of parliamentarians were determined by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) which he is a member of.
“The terms and conditions of leaders, appointed leaders and elected leaders, department heads, provincial administrators, constitutional office holders, judges, MPs, are made by the SRC,” he said.
“That’s different from the Salaries and Conditions Monitoring Committee (SCMC) which looks at the terms and conditions of employees in public authorities.”
By LUKE KAMA