5-10% CUTS TO SAVE K50 MILLION MUST COME FROM MP SALARY

by THEROW ZUARU

The government introducing 5-10 per cent cuts to the wages of public servants just to save "50 million kina" should come from MPs salary. If Marape Government is serious about Take Back PNG and Make it into a Black Christian Nation. It is time for the parliamentarians to MAKE SACRIFICES!

Out of 111 MPs in parliament, Prime Minister Marape Cabinet has 12 vice Ministers and 32 Ministerial portfolios.

Did you know 111 MPs fortnight salary in a term cost more than K226 million at the expense of ordinary Papua New Guineans? Where over 70% of MPs gross wages are exempt from tax (tax-free).

What's the great deal here?
Introducing 5-10 per cent cuts to the wages of public servants just to save "50 million kina".

The solution is to Review the 70% tax-free gross wages earnings for all the Politicians

According to Bryan Kramer 2018 report, he pointed out parliamentarian salaries as follows:

1. Politicians Salary

The current Polly fortnight stands as:
(Note: figures rounded to nearest K1,000 and may vary slightly depending on the tax rebates claimed for each members dependents)

Prime Minister (1) K31,000
Speaker of Parliament (1) K24,000
Deputy Prime Minister (1) K24,000
Opposition Leader (1) K24,000
Minister of State (32) K21,000
Deputy Speaker (1) K18,000
Deputy Opposition (1) K18,000
Governor (20) K17,000
Vice-Minister (12) K16,500
Chairman of Parli' Committee K16,500
Shadow Minister (12) K14,000
Government/Opposition Whip K14,000
Member of Parliament K12,700

▫️ Prime Minister
Prime Minister actual base salary is K13,000 per fortnight less K5,000 in taxes and K2,000 deducted for retirement benefit contribution equals net wage of K6,000 however after adding K24,000 tax-free allowances his take home fortnight pay ends up being K31,000

▫️State Ministers
Ministers of State fortnight base salary is K8,850 less K3,200 tax and K1,330 retirement fund equals net salary of K4,320 add K16,600 in tax-free allowance and their fortnight take-home pay actually comes to K21,000.
Where the tax represents only 5%.

▫️Vice Ministers
Vice-Ministers fort-night base salary is K4,856 less K1,602 tax and retirement benefit fund contribution of K730 leaving a net salary of K2,524, add K14,000 in tax-free allowances and their net take-home pay amounts to K16,500
Where the tax represents only 5%.

▫️Ordinary MPs
An ordinary Member of Parliament base fortnight salary is K4,038 less base tax of K1,274, and retirement benefit fund contribution of K605.81 leaving a net salary of K2,158. Add K10,598 in tax-free allowances and their net take-home pay amounts to K12,756. Where the tax represents only 8%.

(source: B.Kramer, 2017)

2. Calculation

1 PM = K31,000
1 DPM = K24,000
1 Speaker = K24,000
1 Opposition leader = K24,000
32 Minister K21,000 × 32 = K672,000
1 Deputy speaker = K18,000
1 Deputy Opposition = K18,000
20 Governor K17,000 × 20 = K340,000
12 Vice-Minister K16,500 × 12 = K198,000
1 Chairman of Parli' Committee = K16,500
12 Shadow Minister K14,000 × 12 = K168,000
1 Government/Opposition Whip = K14,000
27 Ordinary MP K12,700 × 27 = K342,900

Total Taxfree fortnightly payments spend on;

Fortnightly
111 MPs = K1,890,400

Annually
K1,890,400 × 24 = K45,369,600 per/year

A Term (5 yrs)
K45,369,600 × 5yrs = K 226,848,000 per/term

So, the total tax-free spending on 111 MPs in a term is K226.8 million on fortnightly payments alone (exclusive other entitlements like travel, clothing, health insurance, security, personal staff, etc).

3. People Sacrifices

PNG is having a serious cash-flow crisis which has already have impact on ordinary citizens livelihoods. The ordinary Papua New Guineans are struggling to survive, with limited or no income. People have been making sacrifices to politicians all this time.

▫️You increased fuel pump price, we accepted it.
▫️You increased electricity Tariff, we welcomed it.
▫️You decrease Kina value, we stood by you.
▫️You allow importation of Asians, we did not complain.
▫️You increase the income tax up to 34%. While yours as low as 5%. We still respect you
▫️You open the borders to illegal foreign investment, we still said OK.
▫️You promised us free health and education after the increase, we are yet to see it.
▫️You promised us better economy, we are still expectant.
▫️You knowingly spend on economic insignificant projects and events, we kept silent

With all these and more, food items soared high;
▫️PNG can no longer feed. Rice, bread, sugar, oil and all other food items are gone with the winds.
▫️The basic infrastructures are gone.
▫️Private sectors have relieved workers of their jobs.
▫️Unemployment rate increasing
▫️States can no longer pay salaries on time.
▫️People can no longer pay rent.
▫️People can no longer pay school fees.
▫️The civil service has become redundant.
▫️Civil servants have become researchers researching into loan facilities to survive.
▫️Salaries can no longer sustain homes.
▫️And People are begging to feed.

What more sacrifices do politicians want from PNGans? the sacrifice of blood?

4. Politicians Sacrifice

It is time for politicians to make sacrifices. If they serious about Take Back PNG from the massive economic mess created by themselves. The economy rescue plan starts with its huge tax-free allowances. Changing the name tag from O'Neill-Abal to Marape-Steven government achieve nothing. Unless politicians stop shifting blame and ready to make sacrifices. From 1975 - 2011 (36 years) PNG's debt was K9b, and from 2011 - 2019 is K27b. The debt double by K18b in just less than 8 years. PM Marape and 99% of Members of Parliament in one way or the other contributed to nation's economic downturn in just 8 years. When previously served in O'Neill-Namah, O'Neill-Dion to O'Neill-Abal governments, respectively.

The Government continues to spends a massive tax-free K226.8 million per term (K45.4 million annually) on MPs allowances. When the nation is facing a serious cash flow crisis and tagged with K27b debt, is unimaginable. This is national treason and corruption of the highest decree committed by politicians.

PM Hon. James Marape it is time to change the system by conducting a major review on MPs fortnightly incomes; cut all unnecessary allowance and impose strict tax. Because currently ordinary workers incomes are taxed up to 34%. While MPs salaries are taxed as low as 5%, plus massive tax-free allowances. Where over 70% of MPs gross wages are exempt from tax (tax-free). Totally unfair and contradictory!

5. Conclusion

Unlike ordinary citizens who are subject to tax and paid according to their qualifications and
performance knowing they could be sacked anytime. Politicians do not get paid according to their qualification or performance but have five-year job security, they go to work when they want to and only need attend parliament sittings 63 days in a year. And are overpaid and certainly undertaxed at the expense of the rest of Papua New Guineans who sacrifice lives for their families, jobs, the government of the day and the nation of Papua New Guinea.

Before Marape-Davis government go off shifting the burden to the ordinary citizens, they must pause long enough to find out if that disaster is not a mirror reflection of their own extravagant lifestyles. The PM Marape must start taking a keen interest in politicians to make sacrifices. Based on the figures revealed by Bryan Kramer on MPs allowance, it is calculated that more than K50 million are wasted on MPs tax-free allowance annually. That excessive K50 million from the MPs 70% tax-free allowance can be recouped and redirected to re-finance the budget deficits.

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