he Independent Legislative Caucus says the debate to cut salaries and benefits of Liberian lawmakers should go beyond the pool of sentiment which they said could mislead the public into half-baked proposition.
They argued that if government needs to take austerity measure to address the development needs of the country, it is also important to reduce the operational and committee hearing budget by 75%, to save US$2.57 million and that the speaker’s budget be reduced by 40%.
They believed that such measures when taken by the National Legislature could save about US$9.0 million for government as oppose to a US$1.5 million.
Reading the statement on behalf of his colleagues on Monday at his capitol building office, River Gee District 3 Representative Francis Dorpoh noted that the gain from the executive salary cut is yet to be accounted for in terms of its impact in reducing the government wage bill.
He said a country like Liberia where there is a huge level of unemployment and underemployment; it is more of a national security risk as compared to having huge security budget with limited positive impact on the lives of the ordinary people.
Representative Dopoh added that though the independent caucus welcomed the debate, but stressed that they remain fearless in forging a realistic path to the National Budget process for the good of the Liberian people, and not the display of “cleaning the mess”.
Representative Dorpoh then stated that as the Executive is taking steps in these directions, the Liberian Legislature and the Judiciary should be of no exception.
Amidst the Independent Legislative caucus statement, government through the executive branch has said, that salary cut is a way of addressing the current economic condition of the Country.