Was there an increase in legislator wages?
The president of the Chamber of Deputies Lucia Medina has denied the reported increase in wages for legislators in August paychecks.
As reported in Acento, the legislators have approved wage increases of RD$70,000 for deputies and RD$125,000 for senators. This means deputies wages went up from RD$175,000 to RD$300,000 and senators wages went from RD$250,000 to RD$320,000 per month. This does not include other major perks.
Medina, who is President Danilo Medina’s sister, said that while she is president of the Chamber of Deputies the wage increases would not go into effect. Medina said that during the year she will preside at the Chamber of Deputies there could not be any wage increases because Article 140 of the Constitution establishes that the legislators cannot make laws for their own benefit. She said the increase would have had to happen in the previous legislature, and it did not go into effect.
In a recent meeting with Minister of Industry and Commerce,
Rafael Blanco Canto criticized the reported wage increase for the legislators and said that several months earlier they approved a budgetary allocation of RD$600 million to establish their own pension fund.
Blanco criticized the fund that was created while the rest of the population is obliged to pay into the Dominican Social Security System established by law.
He also criticized the law that allows legislators to import vehicles with no cap on the price. “The largest number of luxury vehicles you see in circulation have entered with tax exemptions granted to the legislators,” said Blanco.
“Nobody can legislate for their own advantage,” said Blanco, indicating that the issue should be “constitutionally” resolved. He did not clarify whether the matter would be taken to the Constitutional Court but he said the business sector expects to reach agreements where some type of control is established.
He said it was regrettable that Congress should have a budget that is higher than the Judicial Branch. “That does not happen anywhere else in the world, and cannot continue to happen,” he said when meeting with Minister of Industry and Commerce, Temistocles Montas.
Meanwhile, in the Senate the wage increases are apparently a reality. Ruling PLD party spokesman Ruben Dario Cruz argued that the increase in the paycheck is based on Law 105-13 that calls for indexing wages every two years according to inflation. He confirmed the increases were around RD$70,000 bringing senator monthly wages to RD$320,000, up from RD$250,000.
Source: DR1, Acento
Sep 1, 2016
Category: DR News |