Sri Lanka President vows to block legislator salary hike

ECONOMYNEXT –  President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to block a salary increase for MPs although their pay structure is linked to that of the judiciary in line with legislation approved in 2006.

“The President said that it is not appropriate to increase the salaries of the ministers and MPs at the present time when the government is trying to find solutions for many problems, including the rising cost of living,” Sirisena’s  office said in a statement.

Official sources said there was no proposal to increase salaries of members of parliament, but their pay was linked to those of the judiciary. Salaries of judges were increased recently which means MPs too get the same increase thanks to the 2006 law during the Rajapaksa regime.

However, individual members of parliament are free to decline the salary increase of they so desire, but the president has no power to veto it as financial control lies with the legislature and not the executive.

The president’s office said he will block the increase when it come to cabinet, but officials said he may have been misinformed as this increase was not a matter for cabinet, but simply implementing existing law. (COLOMBO, Aug 5, 2018)

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