The financial perk that comes with public office are what MPs are not ready do without.
It is becoming apparent that MPs are not really sensitive to the fact that the rest of South Africans are battling hard times, elected representatives insist their perks must stay juicy.
MPs, who enjoy taxpayer-sponsored freebies and perks that would make the average South African green with envy, warned this week that they will resist any attempt to trim their generous benefits.
And some of them insist they deserve even more gravy – on top of their free flights, accommodation and meals, and alongside salaries that range from R1.2m to R2.4m, depending on the position they hold in parliament…
Ministers pocket more than R2.4 million per year, while ordinary members of parliament earn less than a chief magistrate at a little over R1.1 million a year.
However, a pending near 50% cut in salary for former ministers – reduced to backbenchers – may have a lot to do with it.
Political analyst Daniel Silke said: “This really is all about the mechanics of the pension benefits from parliament.”
Silke noted that many people were critical of the pension benefits accrued to ex-ministers who were now quitting.
In terms of a Government Gazette, issued in December, ministers would pocket more than R2.4 million per year, while ordinary members of parliament earn less than a chief magistrate at a little over R1.1 million a year.
“The system of benefits within the parliamentary rulebook makes provision for those who were former Cabinet ministers to claim pensions on the basis of the more elevated position, and as I understand it they have a cut-off date by which they have to make a choice in the matter,” Silke said.