Lucky shirkers
Posted on December 24th, 2015

Editorial – Island

Some people have all the luck in this country. They are the politicians who live off the fat of the land at the expense of the public. MPs are paid salaries to attend Parliament. It defies comprehension why they should be given anything extra for being present in the House. As if that were not enough their attendance allowance is to be increased from Rs. 500 to Rs. 20,000 per sitting, we are told. Parliament usually sits eight days a month and the government is planning to have sittings on ten days.

MPs are notorious for skipping parliamentary sittings. There have been instances where even those billed to open debates on crucial issues kept away. They come, they sign and they vanish like municipal labourers. Eight days are more than enough for parliamentarians to discuss anything of national importance, provided they make the best use of proceedings without hurling abuse and resorting to fisticuffs.

Sittings are, more often than not, inquorate. So, the question is what the MPs are going to do on the two additional days. Do they need any more time for wrestling, boxing, self-immolation attempts and other such activities?

The proponents of an enhanced sitting allowance argue that it will incentivise the MPs to attend Parliament. It is like hurling a huge chunk of umbalakada (‘Maldive fish)’ at a thieving cat running away with a piece of meat, as a local saying goes. The solution is not to throw money at the problem; party leaders ought to take disciplinary action against the MPs who shirk their responsibilities.

This newspaper reported a few weeks ago that an MP could obtain a duty free vehicle permit even if he or she resigned within hours of being sworn in. The government has proposed to scrap the non-contributory pension scheme for public employees to be recruited. But, politicians who complete five years as MPs, doing precious little, are entitled to pensions. A veteran trade unionist has urged the government to abolish the pension scheme for MPs before proposing to deprive state employees of their pension rights.

Government politicians go into spiels about their pecuniary difficulties when the educated youth in universities demand an increase in the Mahapola stipend. But, they are never short of funds to feather the nests of parliamentarians most of whom have not even passed the GCE O/L examination.

A parent who lectures to his or her children on the value of education runs the risk of being questioned whether one should study at all in a country where one need not have educational qualifications to become even the head of state. Children ask tough questions! They may also want to know why anyone should ever bother to study hard when the opportunities are available for school dropouts to do anything illegal with impunity, amass enough wealth, spend part of it on election bribes for the poor, get elected, secure a ministerial post and have even highly educated top professionals groveling before them.

The government has also offered to increase MPs’ staff from three to 18 each. Why should public funds be wasted in this manner? There is a pressing need for downsizing both the Cabinet and Parliament. When the number of MPs was increased to 225, there were no Provincial Councils. Today, there are about 400 provincial councillors in addition to 45 ministers in the nine provinces. Therefore, the number of parliamentarians should be drastically reduced.

Perks and privileges enjoyed by MPs continue to attract the scum of the earth to Parliament. The best way to discourage such elements from taking to politics is to bring parliamentarians down a peg or two. Instead, successive governments have made politics attractive to criminals and nitwits.

3 Responses to “Lucky shirkers”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT SIT ONLY FOR EIGHT DAYS A MONTH. So for 22 days they are free. It is a State Holiday for them, with the comforts of many vehicles and FREE PETROL to roam the Country side, have meals in the best Hotels in the Country, also on Government Account. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

    SO ON A BOGUS PRETEXT, THE GOVERNMENT IS INCREASING THEIR OWN ” SITTING ALLOWANCE ” FROM Rs500.00 A DAY, TO AN ASTONISHING RS.20,000, A DAY. THIS IS A CRIMINAL GOVERNMENT, DRAINING THE RESOURCES OF THE COUNTRY, AND TAX PAYERS MONEY.
    THEY HAVE THE LADLE IN THEIR HAND, SO THEY ARE SERVING THEMSELVES WELL.

    There are People who have only ONE Meal in this country. These imbecile Parliamentarians are serving themselves, a Rs20,000.00 per sitting day in Parliament.

    This is where the Armed Forces should come in to Discipline these Buggers. People of the Country cannot do it. They are being trampled to death, like trampling a Geco.

    WHAT IS HAPPENING TO BEAUTIFUL SRI LANKA ?

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    LORENZO !! WHERE ARE YOU ?????

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    SW,

    Yet another example of how DEMOCRAZY is screwing SL.

    You can pass ANY BUDGET if you promise to give FREE MONEY to politicians!!!

    Then there are PROVINCIAL COUNCILS with 440 members!! They too get to ROB.

    Then the small time politicians in town, village, municipal councils. 1,000s of them.

    ALL of them have SUPPORT STAFF.

    They ALL ROB SL to survive.

    GET RID of all of them. At village level get village groups to run the show. Give them help and do their projects by UDA. Appoint a panel of PROFESSIONALS to run each “ministry”.

    e.g. EDUCATIONALISTS ONLY making education policy and doing it. NOT AL failed CBK.

    Tax can be reduced because this will save Rs. 400,000,000,000 a year.

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