“Each Senator Earns US10K Per Month” -Says VP Taylor

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VP Taylor addresses a cross-section of citizens at a recent political rally.

In a bid to win over Bong County voters in favor of her chosen candidate in the 2018 senatorial by-elections, Josiah Melvin Cole, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor disclosed that each Senator’s monthly earning amounts to US$10,000.

VP Taylor made the statement when she addressed a cross section of citizens on July 28 in the gold rich area of David Dean Town or Gold Camp during her last day of campaign in the just-ended senatorial by-election recently.

She told the citizens that each member of the Senate earns US$10,000 monthly, but did not say whether the amount in question was for salary alone or whether it is inclusive of allowances and other benefits. However, the VP’s statement, made in passing, suggested that the amount was more than enough for the monthly salary of a senator.

“US$10,000 is so huge a money for one person to earn at the level of the lawmakers. So if one person makes that kind of money in six years’ time, that person automatically becomes a millionaire,” VP Taylor said while the citizens looked on in disbelief.

Many residents of Bong County, following the VP’s disclosure, labeled her statement as “incongruous  (conflicting).” Some of them wondered as to why “only this time the Vice President is telling us that Senators make more money when she served in the position for 12 uninterrupted years and did not reveal the information to us.”

And as grossly superfluous as VP Jewel Howard Taylor was painting the senatorial salary to be, many of her listeners recalled her claiming, at a time when she herself was a Bong County Senator, that the salaries of senators were “not much”.

It can be recalled that in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) while in the United States sometime last year, Mrs. Taylor then Senator for Bong County, said lawmakers were not earning much money, “because too many citizens go and always beg them for personal assistance.”

According to data compiled by the Institute for Research and Democratic Development, from the 2015-2016 national budget, each Senator’s salary and other emoluments (travel, vehicle, housing allowances, “other specialized materials”, etc.) amount to $US193,416 per year, or US$16,118 per month.

Mrs. Taylor was elected twice by the people of Bong County as Senator before ascending to the position of Vice President following the 2017 presidential runoff election.

Earlier this year, at the induction of Bong County Superintendent, VP Taylor warned local chiefs to join the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) or risk loosing their jobs; a statement that raised eyebrows as to her style of leadership.

During the first round of polling in the October, 2017 presidential elections, CDC, which has not won Bong County during the last two presidential elections of 2005 and 2011, staged an upset when it massively won the county, a victory that proved Madam Taylor’s popularity with the people after winning twice as Senator in a heavily contested senatorial election.

But political analysts in the county have highlighted the  “diminishing influence” of Vice President Taylor. Her preferred candidate in the just-ended Senatorial By-election, Representative Josiah Marvin Cole, was defeated, in spite of the huge support she provided in the contest against Dr. Henrique Tokpa, an independent candidate, who eventually won the election.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Who else in Bong County makes 10,000 or 16,000 a month ? Maybe, and just maybe it is the market people. No , it must be the farmers , breaking their backs to make that kind of money in a month. Then again, it could be the country doctors healing all those sick people and making all that 10,000 to 16, 000 US dollars per month . Whatever it is, the future looks great for just two Senators in Bong County spending and living of 32,000 US dollars per month .

  2. Perhaps, due to Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor’s desperation to see her candidate, Rep. J. Marvin Cole, win her former senatorial seat, she had to let the mysterial cat out of the bag by finally revealing how much money she made as senator….USD$10,000/monthly. That is equivalent to USD$120,000.00/yr. not including all the benefits Lawmakers received.

    Why is it a secret to reveal publicly how much money our government officials make when they are being paid by the Liberian taxpayers? There is no transparency in divulging government officials’ salaries to the public in Liberia.

    Each government agency should have an up-to-date website where salaries information, organizational structure, and day-to-day operations are easily available for the public to follow. Total transparency is what we need in a functioning democracy and not a government run by secrecy.

    As for transparency, you can easily find salaries of U.S. Lawmakers on the internet. However, looking for Liberian Lawmakers salaries is like looking for your shoes in the dark.

    Let us make the unbelievable comparison b/w U.S. Lawmakers salaries vs. Liberian Lawmakers’ salaries.

    First, the total 2017 budget for U.S was USD$4.147 trillion. GDP per capita income of the U.S. is roughly USD$57,000.00/yr. Yet members of U.S. House and Senate only make USD$174,000/yr.

    Whereas, Liberia budget for 2017/2018 stands at merely USD$526.6 million. Liberia GDP per capita income is roughly USD$455.00/yr. Nevertheless, Members of Liberia House and Senate make a whopping USD$120,000/yr. not including benefits.

    Such astronomical income of Liberian Lawmakers is preposterous (senseless) for a small country with an annual budget of only US$526.6 million. Liberia’s budget is even less than what Floyd Mayweather (An American Boxer) earned from boxing (USD$700 million as of 2018).

    With almost 2/3 of Liberia meager budget of USD$526.6 million going into the pockets of Lawmakers and other government officials, Liberia will continue to be broke.

    With such a high pay scale for Liberian Lawmakers and government officials, Liberia will continue to borrow money for infrastructure development thus putting the country into a perpetual cycle of indebtedness to its creditors.

    These over-paid government officials are not adding the necessary economic value to move Liberia forward. They are instead, sucking the life blood out of the country meager resources, by not being creative; by not being innovative; and last but not all; by not creating jobs for the people who elected them into office.

    So help us God!!!!!

    • It seems ironic how our senior senator then felt constraint to disclose the salary, not including benefits, of senators but now feels compel and the need to. I am not so sure it was meant to help or hurt Mr. Cole in his bit to replace her.

      But let’s look at her assertion that any of these senators that serve in six years’ time becomes a millionaire. She’s absolutely correct if benefits are included as the writer had indicated in this article, which the VP inconspicuously left out. But what does that tell the people of Bong County? She’s telling the people of Bong that she’s a millionaire for serving two-terms as their senior senator. That’s a whopping USD$2.1millions without benefits or USD$3.48million with benefits!

      Now, whether or not this disclosure helped or hurt Mr. Cole is up for debate, but it seems the people of Bong County have spoken. The VP once had a rising influence in the county’s politics which was evidenced by her very high popularity because the citizen did not know then what they know now. But, now that they know what they never knew then, her influence in their decisions to select who to replace her as their new senator has no bearing. I think, perhaps, her disclosure helped the citizen in this case.

      On the issue of her interview with VOA in which the writer claims she said, “lawmakers weren’t making enough money because too many citizens go and beg them for personal assistance” seems to be out of touch with the county and the nation as a whole. The purpose of her election as senator then was not to give handouts. It was meant to create opportunities that would allow citizens to thrive and not as beggars as insinuated. If the VP thought then that her election to the senate by the good people of Bong was to give them handouts then she was mistaken. Rather, it was meant to create opportunities that would spur growth and make the citizens independent.

    • You’re right Bro. Conneh…I would go a step further that getting info on these guys salaries is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

  3. Pro poor government, really? So how much is one poor citizen benefiting in government estimate? Let them the (lawmakers) stop fooling themselves cause we see nothing being done to help the poor masses. Let’s rename the administration as pro rich government and not pro poor.

  4. The citizens of Bong are right to be surprised at the huge salary of one person in a rich but poorly managed country. How was the salary calculated and what were the factors considered? The cost of living in Liberia has not changed much and it still remains low. Why would one person earn so much? Almost half of the national budget is spent on salaries of employees mainly at the Capitol Building. How much will be left over for national developments? The salaries, perks, and other benefits are encouraging many Liberians to call for the division of their counties to create more senatorial and other legislative positions. Our lawmakers before the war earned far less than that. Lawmakers during the TWP government earned even far less than today’s salaries. Mark my words, the salaries will not remain up there forever. Some austerity measures will slash them into at least half or more than half.

  5. Just a few days ago, VP Jewel Taylor followed in the footsteps of her boss, Mr. Weah and declared her assets. It was the best thing to do. Here she is this time, without being afraid of her distractors and proudly stating to the general public what the monthly income is of Liberia’s individual lawmakers. There are others who may have problems with such a disclosure. But I think it’s the right thing to do. I will give Mrs. Jewel Taylor a “B” grade for now for having disclosed the yearly incomes of Liberia’s lawmakers. I am not proud of the lawmakers’ incomes. I think it’s a travesty. A national disgrace beyond comprehension.

    Let’s do the math:
    $10,000 per month × 12 months equals $120,000.00 per year.

    Now, $120, 000.00 is the basic salary per year.
    Let’s do an estimate of the lawmakers’ perks.

    (1) Automobile…. $40,000

    (2) Free gas……… $30.00 per day x 360 days = $ 10, 800.00 year

    (3) Free air time …telephone..$15.00 per day x 360 days = $5, 400

    (4) Free Medical….$2,500.00 per year

    So, $120,000
    40,000
    10,800
    5,,400
    2,500
    ————————
    $177, 500.00 per year per lawmaker. Just imagine how many lawmakers there are.
    In essence, Liberian lawmakers earn a little more in salaries and perks than their American counterparts.

    Just the other day, the Ministry of Education openly stated that there isn’t enough money to hire good teachers for Liberia’s Public Schools. But yet, the lawmakers of Liberia earn exorbitant amounts of money per year. The question is this….Is it fair for the world’s “second poorest” country to conduct business like that?
    The issue of qualified teachers has been mentioned. What’s about the quality of the Liberian Public Schools?
    Questions:
    1. Do the high schools have their full set of laboratory equipment?

    2. Do all students have their full set of textbooks?

    3. Do teachers have their full set of “teacher edition textbooks”?

    4. Do teachers and students have toilets on school campuses nationwide?

    Are we ready to matriculate into 2nd world? Or are we going to remain in the 3rd world with negative distinctions until Christ’s Second Coming?

    The lawmakers of Liberia are an established mafia. The lawmakers believe in business as usual and not in business as of now. They are the status quo people. They are illiberal. They refuse to retrench our poor financial resources for their own self-centered interests. Weah cannot make them to take a pay cut. He if attempts such an endeavor, the tough lawmakers will not relent.
    God help Liberia.

  6. Why liberians are sitting there and allow these guys to make these kinds of money from the liberians people sweat. These people pay themselves this huge money monthly and what will be left in bank for Liberia. A poor country like Liberia pay too much money to senators and representatives is considered as criminal behavior. What in the world you can’t pay your employees your own currency? Why Liberia can not be like ivory coast and other nearby Africa countries? Spend your own currency pay your employees with your own currency. Let the United States dollars be in the banks to protect the economy

  7. Gonkar,
    She may have done some unexciting things in the past. Not knowing an iota of her misdeeds or transgression, I think her moment of epiphany came during the last two weeks of her public service.

    First, she did precisely as her boss Mr. Weah did a week earlier. She (assuming we’re talking about Mrs. Taylor) released or disclosed her assets. That’s positive.
    Secondly, although she was a 12-year member of the Upper House, she experienced an epiphany by informing the whole wide world about how much her former colleagues earn. I see no hypocrisy here.

    Comrade Gonkar, Liberia’s lawmakers are overpaid outlandishly. Had VP Taylor not disclosed that information, I would never have known. Something has got to be done! The teachers in Liberia are underpaid as a consequence of the hundreds of thousands lawmakers earn in Liberia.
    Now, you have a right to take VP Taylor to task. But, I think Taylor deserves a “B” grade for now. I will withdraw my grade if she slips back into the groove.

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