Monrovia - Representative Beyan Howard (UP-District 5 Lofa County) is requesting that members of the House of Representatives to discuss President George Weah’s proposal on salary and benefits reduction.
The Liberian leader made the pronouncement while delivering his state of the nation address.
During his state of the nation address, President Weah promised to reduce his salary and benefits by 25% and gave the proceeds back to the consolidated fund for allocation and appropriation as they see fit.
In his communication, the Lofa County lawmaker cautioned his colleagues that the President first State of the Nation address contained policies and reforms that form the basis of President Weah’s first year in office if not his entire administration.
He said since the President’s major policy statement was made on January 29, 2018, members of the House have failed to react.
“By this, I am respectfully requesting that we discuss the President’s proposal and thereafter respond or react accordingly,” he wrote.
President George Weah received a thunderous round of applause from the 54th Legislature when he made the announcement.
Having vowed to govern strictly in line with the Liberian Constitution and the oath he took to uphold, protect and defend the country, President Weah said proceeds generated from the cut in his pay “will be deposited to the Consolidated Fund for allocation and appropriation where necessary.”
Consolidated Fund or Consolidated Revenue is the term used in many countries to describe the main bank account of the government.
He then tossed up a challenge to members of the Senate and House of Representatives to follow suit in the interest of the Liberian people.
“In the main time, I will urge you ladies and gentlemen to follow my lead in the interest of our constituents,” Weah added.
It is not clear whether President Weah is receiving the same salary and benefits allotments as his predecessor, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who, according to her income and assets declaration released in 2017, recorded a gross annual salary of L$1,684,500 and an annual allowance of US$72,000.
The 25% reduction, as promised by President Weah, would amount to L$421,125 (US$3,346.78 at CBL rate of L$125.83/US$1) and US$18,000 deducted from his annual salary and allowances, respectively. Bundled together, Weah’s annual reductions would amount to US$21,346.78.
According to the 2015-2016 National Budget, the salaries and benefits for all members of the House of Representatives combined amounts to US$15,761,542; while the Senators combined receive a total of $6,091,267, bringing the total salaries and benefits of both houses to US$21,852,809.