Taroudant, Morocco - In a stark contradiction with the fiscal austerity advocated by Benkirane’s government, the PJD-led government gave the green light for a monthly MAD 4000 rise in the allowances of 395 MPs, according the Arabic daily Al Akhbar.
Taroudant, Morocco – In a stark contradiction with the fiscal austerity advocated by Benkirane’s government, the PJD-led government gave the green light for a monthly MAD 4000 rise in the allowances of 395 MPs, according the Arabic daily Al Akhbar.
Following the meager increases in the minimum wage, announced by the government before the International Workers Day, the government decided to increase the salary of MPs by allotting a monthly allowance of MAD 4000 for each MP.
This increase is expected to cost the budget of the House of Representatives nearly MAD 18 million a year.
The House of Representatives justified this amount as a means to encourage MPs to attend regularly the Chamber sessions, especially during weekly sessions of oral questions and monthly meetings with the Head of Government.
The former President of the House of Representative Karim Ghellab had previously proposed an increase in the allowances of the MPs, but the PJD members strongly opposed it. However, now that the Istiqlal member is no longer chairing the House of Representatives, the PJD MPs gave full support to this increase in compensation.
Absenteeism is very common in Moroccan parliament, and this phenomenon has been denounced in several occasions by the electorate and the public opinion in general, since it hinders seriously the legislative process.
“It is disheartening to see the Head of the Government increase the allowances of MPs instead of toughening measures to fight against the scourge of absenteeism,” Mohammed Benfadil, a Moroccan journalist based in Washington DC told MWN.
“What the Moroccan people expect from the government is to alleviate the sufferings of indigent families in remote areas and improve the conditions of the working class, rather than making the rich richer,” he added.
For his part, Aissam El Hani, an English professor from Al Houceima, in norther Morocco, said that this measure comes to remind Moroccans that the PJD is not different from the other political parties.
“I am not surprised to see Benkirane increase the salary of the MPs instead of caring for the poor and the working class. This is a blow to the PJD’s credibility and I have always firmly believed that the Islamist party is no different from the other parties,” he told MWN.
In April 2012, while the RNI, which is now member of the coalition government, was in the ranks of the opposition, as little as 15 of its members out of a total of 50 attended a parliamentary session devoted to the discussion to the government finance bill.
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