Senate Debates 25 Percent Salary Cut Today

-But Senator Lawrence wants report withdrawn; requests new hearing

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Sen Lawrence: “As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I did not know about the hearing”; Senator Varney Sherman, Judiciary, Claims and petitions chair

After three deferments, the Senate is expected to start debates on a report by the Joint Committee on Banking and Currency; Ways, Means, Finance and Budget; Judiciary; Claims and Petition; and Commerce, Trade and Industry, on the state of the economy today.

The joint committee was recently mandated to review a letter from Senators Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of Grand Bassa, Morris G. Saytumah of Bomi, and Armah Zolu Jallah of Gbarpolu counties, in which they expressed concerns over the current decline of the country’s economy and made a seven-point recommendation.

The three lawmakers in their letter dated February 14 specifically called on the plenary of the Senate to mandate its Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget and the Ministry of Finance to immediately begin an extensive review of expenditure with the goal to streamline it to meet important national development targets.

The committee returned a week later with a report in compliance with plenary’s mandate, but requested for an additional week to present its final report on March 7 after meeting with relevant stakeholders through hearings.

Since then, the discussion has been postponed on three occasions, the last being on Thursday, which was due to a power failure at the Capitol Building.

The joint committee recommended that fair shares of the allowances of government employees in foreign exchange must be paid in Liberian dollars; that all government agencies must be mandated to submit their annual budget performance reports to the Legislature; and that the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) should not determine tax payment by daily rates, but by a weekly or monthly rate.

But hours before today’s debate, one of the three authors of the letter which spurred the debate, Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, has requested a recall of the report and recommended to Senate Pro-tempore Jallah to ask the Senate to constitute itself into a committee for a new hearing.

“The authors and other people who are on the committee did not know about the hearing; we are talking about the economy, and they keep overlooking it. They (Joint Committee) did not touch any of those things we raised in our letter, so I don’t know what was discussed in the hearing. As member of the Ways and Means Committee, I did not know about it so I am recommending that the plenary votes and constitutes itself into a committee for an open hearing,” the outspoken Grand Bassa lawmaker said.

“I am very disappointed in the committee’s report even though it has not been discussed, but it must be recalled.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. Our leaders should be critically thinking about the future of this country instead of occupying positions just to benefit and not doing anything that will benefit our people and country. Liberia population was 2.5 millions prior to the upheaval in 1989.And after the civil war, the population has grown to 4.5 millions and still we relied on donor support and extractive industry to sustain national budget which i think we should be thinking beyond this venture. Let our leaders make allocation for huge investment in Agriculture especially ( the cocoa and coffee industry) and tourism sector that will bring future returns and improve our economy. Pay cut will not help better our struggling economy.If we have leaders who don’t prepare for the future progress of their nation, the nation and it people will continue to suffer and remain backwards.

  2. There is an old saying that is appropriate in the current debate: “Cut your coat according to your measurement.” Look, if these politicians desire to be public servants, shouldn’t it be the public that determines their salaries after taking into account the nation’s revenue and budget priorities? Just because they have been spending the country’s money to enrich themselves for centuries does not make it right. When politicians take things that don’t belong to them, it’s not up to them to determine how much of what they have arbitrarily taken should be returned. Why 25% and not 10% or 50% or 75%? It’s the Master, not the servant who has the authority to determine the compensation of servants, based on available resources and budget priorities. “99 days for rouge, one day for Master!” Liberia is going nowhere until the citizens are in charge- It’s called Democracy-a government of the people, by the people and for the people!

  3. Will reducing Legislators’ Salaries be one of the solutions to a better Economy in Liberia? Let us discuss this. The Liberian Government is overly corrupt from the TOP. The very Legislative Branch has been the main source of the Nation inability to maintain a sound fiscal economy. Why should Liberians believe that cutting Legislators’ salaries or benefits will restore a damaged Economy? Liberia needs to replace the entire Members of the House and Senate and restructure the Nation ‘s Salsries, Entitlemens and Benefits. The present group of Lawmakers have lost the Peoples’ Trust. Case Close.

    • V. ROBERTS; you are right. Everything should be put on the table; for a total REVIEW/ECONOMIC OVERHAUL. Austerities are just the beginning. Our next President will have to move QUICKLY/SWIFTLY; to put Liberia in the right “ECONOMIC ORDERS ” There is enough for everyone’s NEEDS; not enough for everyone’s GREEDS.

  4. They are all bunch of old so “called senators and legislators” who just want to sit their asses in there and steal all of our Liberian’s people money… Here we go… they are talking about “percent salary cut” because they know how much dang money they make in that place! Yet, no better plan or they can even come up with good solutions!!! When will this shit stop got damn it! That’s why they don’t want to educate our youths; our schools suck, our economic growth is freaking bad (even though we have the natural resources to help our Liberian’s people and rebuild our sweet country)! We need to stand against those bullshits and those motherfuckers (senators and representatives, the president and the vice-president of the Republic of Liberia) that enough is enough!!! Let’s tell them to stop taking bag of rices to our people for their votes!!! One thing I know for sure is that, some of us who live abroad are getting prepare to help our Liberian’s people… no matter where you go, we will chase your ass and bring you to justice!!!

    • Khalee, Liberia should have been #1 democracy in Africa. Instead , it’s the 4th poorest country in the world. To turn this country around, citizens need to unite and urge voters to demand that we replace the corrupt system with a system that is controlled by citizens, not politicians. There is just one right way to tackle this problem vote for change, not for politicians no matter what they are promised. How can you possibly advance civility and democracy by your obsession with profanities?

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