MONROVIA—The Alternative National Congress of Liberia (ANC) has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to veto a bill being considered by the Legislature to provide pension packages of 50% of the salaries and benefits to top elected officials. The ANC has also called on all well-meaning members of the Legislature to oppose and ensure the defeat of the retirement package bill reportedly being considered by law makers. The party has encouraged other political parties and civil society groups to join in the denunciation of the bill.
According to an article published in Front Page Africa, the Conference Committee chaired by Representative Edwin Snowe, submitted a report that recommends a “Pension Bill” that will pay elected officials of the Legislature and Executive as well as Supreme Court Judges of the government of Liberia 50% of their salaries and benefits in retirement packages.
In a statement denouncing the proposed pension package, the ANC described the salaries and compensation packages of elected leaders as exorbitant. The statement said the proposed retirement packages for top officials are “out of line with what the country can afford”.
The ANC points out that the country faces enormous development challenges and limited resources. It reminds the leaders that the average Liberian lives on less than $1.50 a day and that their focus should be on devising policies that would grow the Liberian economy and create jobs to benefit all Liberians and not only to benefit the law makers and other top government officials.
We may note that the World Bank country report (2013) on poverty indicates that Liberia is among the poorest countries in Africa and in the world with over 62% of its population living in abject poverty. The indicators are expected to become even bleaker in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis. We also note that a significant percentage of the national budget is already funded by foreign aid, while the government has fallen short of meeting its annual budget during previous fiscal cycles. Source: FPA
Pic: Alternative national Congress Chairman Gould