100 per cent salary raise inadequate: MPs

100 per cent salary raise inadequate: MPs
A view of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (Photo by Reuters)

The Members of Parliament have called for a review of the salary structure in line with current market prices of commodities and other basic needs of the government employees.

The lawmakers noted yesterday that the prices of essential commodities are still high although South Sudanese Pound has gained against the United States dollar as the bank of South Sudan auctions more dollars to the commercial banks.

Deliberating on the 100 per cent salary increment for civil servants, MPs said the salary increment does not meet the living expenditure of the public servants.

According to the new salary structure, if a civil servant was receiving SSP3,000 it is doubled making it SSP6,000- an amount that cannot purchase a sack of flour.

Furthermore, the report of the select committee on the President Salva Kiir’s parliamentary address indicates that the members deliberated on Monday and resolved that the Minister of Finance and Planning Athian Diing Athian should table the budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 to the house for approval.

The report also recommended that the ministry should pay salary arrears with immediate effect and adhere to the timely payment of salaries and wages at the end of every month.

100 per cent raise announced

In his address to the nation on the 10th Independence Anniversary of South Sudan, President Kiir directed Mr Athian to pay arrears and the salaries of civil servants regularly.

The President acknowledged the hardship faced by the civil servants due to constant delay in paying their salaries. He then directed the ministry to increase the salaries of the civil servants by 100 per cent as Phase I and subject the salary structure to periodic review as the country’s economy improves.

 Later on, President Kiir also revealed that the breakdown of the paysheet generating machine in the ministry of labour had contributed to the delay to pay civil servants’ salaries for June and July this year.

In addition, Kiir also urged the parliament to work with the ministry of finance and planning to review the salary structure of the civil servants in accordance with the living wages through its oversight role.

“I expect you to use your oversight function to tackle the challenge of irregular payment of salaries to the public servants. You also need to work with the ministry of finance and planning to review salary structure to ensure our public servants are paid a living wage,” President Kiir directed the Parliament in his last address.

Kiir stated that improving the wellbeing of the civil servants was very important because the hardship faced by the public could lead to a source of instability in the country as they can easily be used by peace spoilers.

“Improving the wellbeing of our people is our priority, more importantly, these hardships are also a source of instability as those who wish us ill can use them to further endanger the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement”