Remain Beggars: Liberia’s Finance Minister Urges Electorates
Ahead of the widely anticipated midterm senatorial election in Liberia, Liberia’s Minister Samuel D. Tweah has implicitly described Liberian electorates as baggers.
Minister Tweah’s statement is in disagreement with Montserrado County Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon’s proposed bill to cut Liberian lawmakers salary to five thousand United States Dollars from ten thousand United States Dollars.
Minister Tweah spoke at a pre-campaign rally for Coalition Democratic Change (CDC) Senate aspirant, Representative Thomas Fallah in Gardnerville during the week aimed at pitted against sitting Montserrado County sitting Senator, Abraham Darius Dillon.
The Minister who also spoke strongly against further reduction of lawmakers’ salary, saying the previous US$16 million dollars reduction was sufficient, adding, “US $49 million minus US$33 million, it means we have taken US$16 million dollars from the legislature. We have cut them down. But some people are saying, we should still cut the people’s salary,” Minister Tweah said.
“When the legislature salary is cut too much; when you run to them for help, they will not be able to help and those who are advocating for salary cuts, it’s the people’s money they are cutting. “When the legislators do not get money, you will not go there to ask them for anything, because they will not have money to give.”
“I’m the Minister of Finance; we have cut their money down and they are under pressure. Some of them took loans and they do not have money to pay back the loans. I myself, I feel for them, because I. the Minister, have been working with the President to cut, cut, cut …. But when I look at the lawmaker, I feel sorry because I know what they are going through. So nobody should tell you to cut their salaries. They have done a lot of good work.”
The lawmakers’ budget, he said was previously set at US$49 million dollars (US$42,375,922 as stated in the recast FY2019/2020 budget) but was slashed to US$33 million dollars (US$33,403,304 as of FY2020/2021 draft budget). That meant that US$16 million dollars was cut from the lawmakers in this year’s draft budget. However, the real figure should have been US$8,972,618 (42,375,922 minus US$33,403,304)”, the Minister outlined.