Editorial staff
1 minute read
23 Jun 2022
6:00 am

Are citizens really the tone deaf ones for complaining about MP’s salary hikes?

Editorial staff

Parliament's message that those complaining about MP's salary hikes are tone deaf, was delivered without a trace of irony or self-awareness.

Chaos erupts after members of EFF are asked to leave the house during the Presidency Budget Vote Debate Response at Parliament on 10 June 2022 in Cape Town. Picture: Gallo Images/Brenton Geach

If you were one of those who complained at our MPs being given a salary increase of just under 3% – to take their monthly pay packet to just under R100 000 – then you were “tone deaf”, says parliament.

Compared to MPs in countries with similar populations and Gross Domestic Product, our public representatives are underpaid, parliament said in a statement, with no hint of irony or the mere indication that this was tongue-in-cheek.

The 341 MPs who fill the seats in our legislature have the onerous tasks of overseeing the work of government and of state-owned enterprises – which together comprise thousands of employees. Yet, despite these enormous responsibilities, our MPs are only paid at a scale equivalent to junior management, according to the statement.

In addition, parliamentarians have to pay tax, have medical aid and other deductions. A bit like the rest of us then … at least those of lucky enough to be in employment.

Given that our government and our civil service is, to be kind, a mess, and given that our parastatals are doing their best impression of the Titanic, it does seem that our MPs are sleeping on their monitoring jobs.

Oops. Sorry. We have to stop being “tone deaf”…