By Gerald C. Koinyeneh
Capitol Hill, Monrovia – Leaders of the House of Representatives including Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Deputy Speaker Prince Moye have rubbished the allegation that they are not in support of the government’s harmonization measure.
On Wednesday, October 9, a group of angry lawmakers headed by Rep. Hanson Kiazolu (Montserrado County District #17) threatened to lead a campaign that will remove Speaker Chambers and Deputy Speaker Moye if it is established that they refused to cut their salaries and allowances as they (lawmakers) did to theirs.
But in a joint statement issued on Thursday, October 10, the Speaker and his Deputy clarified they have already made individual cuts as of the passage of the 2019/2020 fiscal budget by 31.9 percent and 35.6 percent respectively.
Excerpt of the statement: “As regards concerns raised by few members of the House of Representatives on the issues of remuneration at the Capitol Building, following the passage of the 2019/2020 Fiscal Budget, the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, wishes to clarify that it remains committed to earlier agreement with the Executive Branch on salary harmonization across Government.”
“The Speaker, Dr. Bhofal Chambers and Deputy Speaker, Hon. Prince Moye hereby make it unequivocally clear that they have already as of the passage of the budget, made individual cuts in their respective compensation lines by 31.9% and 35.6%.”
In the statement, they revealed that the Office of the Speaker received an annual amount of US$1,221, 123 during Fiscal Year 2018/2019; and has been reduced to US$1,043, 265 for this current budget period.
The Office of Deputy Speaker Moye, according the release received US$766,381 during the last fiscal year, but has been cut to US$722,942 for FY2019/2020.
“Speaker Chambers’ Office did receive US$1,221, 123 in the last Fiscal Year 2018/2019 and was reduced to US$1,043, 265 for this current budget period, whilst Deputy Speaker received US$766,381 last Fiscal Year 2018/2019 and was reduced to US$722,942 for the current budget period.” Related Posts
The Leadership of the House, in the statement called on “colleague-members to always gather the real facts on issues of concern affecting the Legislature for proper messaging to the public.”
Making their allegations against the Speaker and his Deputy, Rep. Kiazolu, who also chairs the opposition Unity Party lawmakers noted that it was unfortunate for the civil servants and the Judiciary to allow cut in their salaries, yet the Speaker who earns a combine total of US$40,000 as allowance (US$29,000) and gasoline (US$15,000) monthly would refused to allow cut.
According to Rep. Kiazolu, if the Speaker and his Deputy ignore the harmonization program as initiated by the government, there will be repercussions upon their return from the constituency break.
“This is unfortunate for the Liberian people, and being the head of the Unity Party Legislative caucus, which is the biggest opposition political party blog in the Legislature, I want to inform the Liberian people that if Speaker Bhofal Chambers maintains his salary at US$40,000 per month, that is US$29,000 by allowance and US$15,000 gasoline allowance, we will resist it upon our return. There will be a revolution here,” said Rep. Kiazolu.
House Adjourns Session
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has adjourned its Second Sitting for constituency (agriculture) break and will resume on the second working Monday in January, 2020.
All actions of the House of Representatives which concern enactment of laws, protocols, or ratification, according to Speaker Chambers are reserved until the resumption of its third sitting for the period 2020.
“The Leadership of House of Representatives remains active purely on administrative issues and the spirit of coordination with the other two branches of Government, the Executive and Judiciary,” they said in statement.
Source Daily Observer.