He made this statement regarding the proposal to increase the MP salaries by 215%.
Vijitha Herath further noted that the MP salary increments takes place based on a proposal brought to parliament by former minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle during the Rajapaksa government in 2006.
He said that just as the JVP objected to it at the time, his party would oppose the current proposal for the MP salary increment as well.
Speaker’s office statement:
The Speakers office confirmed that a discussion was on regarding the increment of MP wages. The national newspapers had noted that a 215% salary increment for MPs was being discussed and in response the Speaker’s office issued a statement yesterday (03).
The statement noted that based on a proposal passed in parliament on November 23, 2006, when the wages of high court judges increases, the wages of parliament ministers and MPs should also increase proportionately.
The Speaker noted that accordingly, with the increase in judges’ wages, he had received a proposal for the increment of MP salaries.
‘No final decision yet’
However, the Speaker’s statement noted that no final decision had been taken so far with regard to the MP salary increments.
The statement read, “in arriving at a final decision regarding this matter, if would be discussed at the party leaders meeting whether the November 23, 2006, decision would be followed or any other process should be followed after which the opinions of the public representatives could be sought.”
Meanwhile, the main parties and opposition parties are all of the view that an MP salary increment at this point is unsuitable.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on August 02, during a press briefing that his ministry had not yet received such a proposal. “Not just the politicians, I am against increasing the salaries of anyone at this juncture,” he said.
UNP Media Spokesman Harin Fernando had told the BBC Sinhala Service that the UNP was also not in agreement with such a salary hike for MPs at this point.
In a twitter post, MP Namal Rajapaksa had also noted that at a time when the public was burdened by high cost of living and taxes, it is not justified to increase the wages of MPs.
Taking note of media reports on the #lka Gov’s decision to increase MPs salaries. How can this decision ever be justified? Especially when they continue to do nothing to curb the continuously rising cost of living & taxes that affect the #SriLankan people each day? @MaithripalaS— Namal Rajapaksa (@RajapaksaNamal) August 2, 2018
The last time MP salaries were increased was in November 2016. The 225 MP’s received a Rs. 100,000 monthly office allowance, while the daily attendance was increased to Rs. 2,500.
Except Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, all other MPs had received this allowance. Ramanayake had opposed the increment.
Party leaders agreeable:
However, Leader of the House and Minister of Public Enterprises Development Lakshman Kiriella had told the ‘Divaina’ newspaper that unanimous approval was obtained at the July 17th party leaders meeting for the MP salary increment.
He said that the JO group leader Dinesh Gunawardena as well as the JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake had given their consent for the MP wage increase.
He said this when contacted regarding the MP salary increment issue.
The wages and allowances accorded to an MP is shown below.
The ministers, state ministers and deputy ministers receive a higher salary including higher allowances.
In addition, the 225 MPs are also entitled to a duty free vehicle permit, while many of them sell this permit for over Rs. 20 million.