Thursday, May 30, 2024

“People are suffering” – MC Cham Jr calls on lawmakers to reject pay rise

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By: Dawda Baldeh

MC Cham Junior, national youths’ president of the opposition Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC), has called on National Assembly Members to unanimously reject the proposed salary increment, saying the country faces an economic crisis and that people are suffering.

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“Parliament should reject the proposed salary increment for the Speaker and Members. The speaker is well-paid. The NAMs should instead consider teachers, nurses, police and military officers and others who are struggling. I think parliamentarians should set a good example as the country faces economic hardship,” he explained.

For Mc Cham, the President, cabinet members and lawmakers should instead consider a cut in their salaries and allowances.

“People are suffering. This year’s budget should focus more on minimizing expenditure. Taxpayers are suffering,” he emphasized.

The GDC national youths’ president further stated that hospitals are without medicines and proper laboratories.

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“Even the Food Safety Authority does not have equipment for testing. They have to take samples to Senegal for testing. The NAMs should be at the forefront in addressing these issues.

Any proposed budget needs to be discussed at the constituency level. They should hold the government accountable,” he noted.

Mc Cham Jr was reacting to the proposed salary increment which Hon. Touma Njie was unhappy with as she walked out of Parliament during a heated debate.

The 2023 estimated budget indicates a total of D36,715,057. 95 for national assembly services as against D27,788,736.00 approved in 2022. This means the estimate is seeking an addition of D8,926,321 on the 2022 excluding allowances.

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