26 January 2016

Liberia: Senators Speak Against Salary Disparity

Several Senators are calling on their colleagues in the National Legislature to accept pay cuts as a means of addressing salary disparity.

Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Sheriff and Grand Kru Senator Peter Coleman also want other members of the government to forfeit some of the huge benefits they are receiving, including a reduction in travel allowances, in order to put the nation on the right trajectory economically.

The Senators made the recommendation during a debate on the economy at the Fourth Day Sitting of the Fifth Session of the 53rd Legislature at the Capitol Building in Monrovia on recently.

It can be recalled that Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, during one of the Senate's sittings in 2015 as well as in several public forums, called on members of the Senate to forfeit portion of their salaries and other benefits to augment the salaries of other civil servants.

Grand Cape Mount County Senator Edward Dagoseh, who chairs the Senate Committee on Ways, Means, and Finance, also recommended during the debate that the Government should also make adjustment in its expenditure framework in order to improve the nation's economy.

Dagoseh also wants government to improve its revenue generation mechanism by enhancing its real estate tax scheme, adding that the nation is experiencing an unfavorable balance of trade which must be addressed speedily.

Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Lawrence, who is also a proponent of the "pay-cut" recommendation, believes that officials of government must accept the proposition in the interest of the masses who earn very little.

Lawrence thinks that in order for the nation to weather the economic storm, it must shift its income generation mechanism from the extractive industry to agriculture which, according to her, is a sustainable form of income generation for many nations.

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