Teahjay Disagrees with Dillon

14
2021
Sen. J. Milton Teahjay: "Saytumah did not mislead anybody, he provided a chart that was columned, but Dillon misread the chart and gave you wrong figures."

…Tries to clarify figure on Senators’ salaries

“The figure communicated to the press regarding the salary of Senators by Senator Abe Darius Dillon are totally incorrect, and that is the purpose I want to make this clarification,” Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay told Legislative reporters on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Senator Teahjay, who spoke to journalists on the grounds of the Capitol Building, said he has done an analysis of a chart that he said contains the income of Senators, “and what Senator Dillion communicated to the public is in error.”

Giving what he described as an example of Dillion’s error, Teahjay observed that his colleague totaled all of the income of a senator as US$15,000. “By that aggregation, Senator Dillon has failed to perfectly read the fiscal chart of the Senate to interpret it; from this chart, the net monthly income of a senator is US$7,994.32; L$29,000, which when converted amounts to US$138 as part of the transportation reform.”

Teahjay then went into frantic attempts to define what is salary and benefits/entitlements, such as house rental fees for lawmakers, which amount, he said goes directly to the owner of the home.

Senator Teahjay named other benefits as transportation reimbursement, which amounts to US$3,175 reportedly as tallying done against vehicles issued every senator, placed there to indicate the value of that vehicle; “over a period of four years, it comes to zero, and you can decide whether to keep the vehicle, that is not an income that you take home as a pay.”

Besides, Teahjay said that the amount of US$2,200 is issued as gasoline, giving a total of 428 gallons a month; “that cannot be seen as an income, it is an entitlement, but Senator Dillon has aggregated everything to say senators are making US$15,325, which is not the case.”

On the question of whether Dillon was misled by the chairman of the Senate committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Budget, Bomi County Senator Morris Saytumah, who gave the chart to Teahjay, about the correct salary for the new lawmaker, Senator Teahjay agreed that the figure on the chart given to Dillon was correct.

“Saytumah did not mislead anybody, he provided a chart that was columned, but Dillon misread the chart and gave you wrong figures,” Teahjay said.

Earlier on the Senate floor, Teahjay had raised concerns about Senator Dillon’s recent press conference, during which he disclosed the net amount of take home salary for senators.

Senator Teahjay recalled that his colleague, who has been in the Senate for barely two months, articulated in his press conference statistics regarding income of all senators in the Senate.

“We have had the time to review his press conference in terms of the contents, and what he articulated is totally incorrect and does not reflect the reality of the figures that are on our books.”

Teahjay told plenary that he brought the issue before them so that he could be given the opportunity to correct himself, “because the Senate is a body of government composed of Senators and, as employees of the government, the budget is opened.”

But River Cess County Senator Francis Paye’s motion for Teahjay’s comment to be opened for discussion was rejected by Maryland County Senator, J. Gbleh-bo Brown.

Senator Brown correctly recalled” “Never before in our sitting in plenary, that a press conference held outside of this Chambers has been a subject of discussions on our agenda. I believe that the statement Senator Teahjay made that whatever information Senator Dillon may have given to the public in his view is incorrect; this Senate has a way of communicating to the public, the leadership of this plenary can authorize the issuance of a press release to dispel whatever information. But to make this issue as a debate is unacceptable, and I don’t think that is the way to proceed.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks to Sen. Dillon for disclosing what has been a tight secret and the subject of speculation in Liberia for over a century and half. At least we know now how much do-nothing senators like Teahjay and colleagues make monthly, and yearly. Can you imagine each of those political drags 428 gallons of gas per month? For what exactly, when all these senators live within at most 25-mile radius from their place of work? That’s 14.3 gallons of gas per day for each senator. 14 freaking unwarranted gallons of gas per day!!! And how many days do senators work in a week? 2 lousy days!! Times 4 weeks= 8 days per week!!! For 8 unproductive days in a month, each of our senators gets 428 gallons of gas. And Sen. Dillon was right and shameless Teahjay very wrong for trying to throw wool over our eyes about converting the excess gasoline amount as portion of senators’ pay, because that’s exactly what those unscrupulous senators do, convert those excess amounts to personal use. But even more dishonest of all, is the unconscionable fact that all senators and representatives live in their own doggone houses in Monrovia, and yet, they are paid monthly rental allowances? And allowances more than the monthly salaries of professors at the university next door to them. Yes, allowances more than what each professor makes!! And poor instructors, they even have to always strike before getting those meager so-called salaries. Ain’t that something? Shameless legislators. And if only they were doing the right things, who would mind? I’m sure wives and perhaps concubines of our those overpaid legislators will have Sen. Dillon to thank, for making this long hidden secret public. Thank you Senator Dillon.

  2. This is rampant corruption, Teahjay. Can somebody, including loud-mouthed Teahjay, please tell me what happened to the 13 government officials who were allegedly involved in rampant corruption after the military coup in 1980 in Liberia. Also, I won’t be surprise if Teahjay fights Dillion for “shinning lights” on the legislature. Remember, he fought his late former boss, Joe W. Mulbah. Dillion, always be on the look out for this corrupt, loud-mouth guy.

  3. Why didn’t you provide this information earlier ? Why didn’t Morris explain the salary and or benefits to Sen ADD ?

    Oh btw Mister Senator , Conveyance or transport allowance and other allowances are considered income for tax purposes . ” in the real world ” , transport allowance is given when no car is issued . Get rid of transportation allowance if you receive a car .
    Secondly what in a ham’s sandwich 400 plus gallons is used for monthly ?
    Why should taxpayers pay you rent to live in your own home ? Eradicate some of these benefits .
    #dishonrablelawmakers#

  4. Wow! So Hon. Tearjay think the Liberian people are that stupid not to distinguished entitlement and salary which all comes as cash flow is just the same but different names. Why is Milton Tearjay trying to justified this madness that is being practice in Liberia, and only in Liberia in the name of lawmakers? There is no justification to this stupidity of such salary to be paid to sitting senators in a poverish nation like Liberia giving the GDP and the cost of living per ordinary Liberians on the daily basic. Thie is totally against the very people they claimed they are representing and yet, they are twisting and labelling the funds names not to constitute salary when these funds are giving to them in cash payment. Infact, what is housing or home allowance being paid to senators when this should have been one of the prerequisite to running for a senatorial position in the first place? If you can not declear a home to your people or don’t have a home to reside in, this position is not for folks like you. This is the time every Liberians need to get involved in getting the necessary changes in place to stop this type of madness presently going on in Liberia, regarding lawmakers salaries. Senator Dillion is not wrong by any means. He is correct giving the figures in U.S funds calculated. Mr. Tearjay argument is, entitlement is not par of the salary which is just total nonsense and is part of your salary since the entitlement is giving to you in cash. Are these entitlement actually being spent on it purpose as describe or you decide how to spend theses entitlements the way you choose? This is just another corruption at the highest level and we need to stop it. The government has to stop providing vehicles for these lawmakers and should be the senators and representatives responsibilities to provide vehicle for themselves and not at the expense of tax payers in Liberia. All this will make this elected positions a bit hard considered to do since it now boil to sacrifices from one heart to his people. The sitting senators and representatives should be assisted with gasoline only from government. Mr. Tearjay, stop beating around the bush and joined senator Dillion in pursuit of this salary deduction for our lawmakers to help move Liberia forward.

  5. Teahjay lost relevance long ago and thinks by foolishly engaging in a now meaningless debate with Senator Dillion, he could earn his notoriety and useless street cred. This dude needs to get his arse outta his head or simply just hide himself from human civilization!

  6. Teahjay is an idiot for arguing that benefits is not part of his compensation or salary. I’m glad Senator Dillon exposed their lies. The cat is out of the box now and it’s too late, liar Teahjay. It’s mindless to get paid first world salaries in a third world country. It’s just darn right stupid and blatantly corrupt. Fortunately the gravy train has arrived in the station. It was a nice ride while it lasted.

    • Phil George, benefits is/are not part of one´s salary. Nor is compensation just, simply, or soley, salary. In fact, benefits are of different types, and may not even be in cash form. You are wrong and must have been misled.

  7. Rental fees ? Not income ? But how many lawmakers are renting that government has to pay for rental fees ? Judges are receiving rental fees. The present President is receiving rental fees for the used of his personal residence as his official residence. The former President received rental fees for the used of her personal property as her official residence. Yet and still under the Executive Branch both leaders of that country are responsible for the renovation of the official residence of the Head of State . In the case of the two Presidents receiving undisclosed amount of cash within the Executive budget as miscellaneous spending , the used of their personal properties also as rental fees come from the budget of the renovation project and placed under the miscellaneous account. Someone has to pay for the light bills being used by the Presidents . Someone has to pay for the water bill . Someone has to pay for the taxes on the personal properties used as official residence of the the President . Come to think about it, all the lawmakers have their own personal properties right in Monrovia and rental fees are being paid to them for the official used of their properties. Even if they were residing in their own county , their official used of their properties as offices , rental fees will still be paid as entitlements, benefits or miscellaneous expenses. Senator Dillon is right to classify all the benefits, entitlements and miscellaneous expenses as gross income. But the law does or there is no law that classified such information as taxable income. One a put a time, so to speak , in the US, social security as entitlement was not taxed, but the law has since changed , and social security as entitlement is now regarded as taxable income. So can the lawmakers review as entitlement and benefits that should actually be taxed as part of the income ? Scratch cards, gas coupons , rental fees , uniforms allowance as miscellaneous expenses or entitlements or benefits are all part of income paid for by government. Not because they are not take home pay , the should not be regarded as income. They are income . But the law has to make them as income in order to be taxable income. But what the citizens do not know will not hurt them. Is what Senator Teahjay is saying. And Senator Dillon is saying otherwise through the knowledge of awareness that citizens ought to know and not be fooled that rental fees are not free government money , and that they are part of the gross income . As lawmaker , did you received scratch card ? Then pay the tax on it as income. But the question remains, will the lawmakers make the law taxing most of their benefits or their so-called entitlements ? Now the citizens should know the importance of assets declaration that most, if not all the officials of government are refusing to obey. In that country there are many government free lunches to its officials. So the IMF is seriously stepping in and bringing that to an end. Through pay cuts or through pay your fair share of taxes. No free lunch as in free scratch cards.
    Pay your taxes on that money received from government.

  8. We need to make this clear to everyone that desire to represent their people in Liberia. If you can not sustained yourself with $5k a month in Liberia,that’s including every benefits imaginable, then, this job is not for you and most of all, you are not force to become a lawmaker in our republic. This has to be on our book that, becoming a lawmaker, home is a must to have as prerequisite before NEC ever recorgnized your entry. Hon Tearjay is not even ashamed of himself for disputing what Hon Dillion is trying to put out there and that’s how they are just out of touch about the situation and trying to make correction. This like a child hands caught in the cookies jar and his excuse is, I only took 1 and not 2. The point here is, that’s stealing and can not be justified.

    • Joe, leave this idiot alone calling himself lawmaker. Since I started following this guy, nothing comes out of his mouth besides nonsense. And the nonsense that spews out of his mouth is as wide as his mouth. Do you recall how this idiot threw blows at his former boss, the late Joe W. Mulbah, when he could not have his way. Do you also remember this economic vampire saying that hair would grow in his palm if Ellen became president. But guess what? This idiot had the nerve to work in the Ellen government when it ascended to power. So in the Liberian context, this guy is a gravy-seeker; he is a complete gold digger. Open your eyes, Liberians. The likes of Teahjay are not in your interest.

  9. Senator Teahjay is neither an “idiot” nor against public knowledge of bonanza compensation packages per se, which were an open secret, anyway. Lest we forget, EJS and JNB were earning more annually than Obama and Biden! Of course, favorites Ministers, Advisors, and Heads of Agencies and SOEs got between USD $17,000 and USD 25,000. Bluntly put, the buck stopped at her big desk, and she should’ve said no and carried her case to the public.

    But she couldn’t, for how could the main culprit testify against herself. As a matter of fact, it was her giveaways to cronies which prompted Legislators’ demand for theirs: Stop the unfair tarring.

    Mind you, lawmakers had oversight authority on the performance of supposedly credentialed technocrats and failed to see why she was lavishing all that money on them. So, rather than being against freshman Senator Dillon, whose main motivation may be his re-election next year, Teahjaye and others in the august body genuinely felt blindsided by his action and distraction.

    If Dillon wanted to demonstrate integrity, he should’ve acted in good faith by asking his colleagues to publicly reveal compensation packages, so that as a collective they could decide on a percentage to be deducted, or he would go solo. Long before he dreamed of being a senatorial candidate, when EJS paid a visit to ExxonMobil Headquarters in Houston, some of us attacked the criminal waste of those pays & perks’ hike in the midst of pervasive poverty. It wasn’t top secret – not in Monrovia.

    Moreover, mind you, he wasn’t in the Senate when GMW reduced his and that of others, or when the subject of Salary Harmonization became topical. Therefore, what’s the big deal when the process was already on the roll. Don’t parlay his grandstanding to lambaste legislators.

    NB

    I supported my opinions reasonably and stayed on the issue, and am not engaging in any fussing with anyone: Disagree, don’t abuse.

  10. Senator Teahjay’s ostentatiousness regarding the monthly take home pay of Liberian senators is a hogwash. If Teahjay thinks that the Liberian people are as dimwitted as the “do nothings” we all know a whole lot about, he probably needs a check up.

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