SO MUCH DOES AN MP GET PAID EVERY FORTNIGHT? – Part 2 – Hon. BRYAN KRAMER

SO MUCH DOES AN MP GET PAID EVERY FORTNIGHT? – Part 2

Bryan

This is part two of four part series of articles providing insight into just how much PNG Members of Parliament are paid every fortnight including the special privileges and benefits that come with the office they occupy.

In part 1 I revealed that ordinary members of Parliament’s fortnight take home pay is over K12,000 where over 70% our of our gross wages are exempt from tax (tax free) while every other citizen wages are subject to tax.

In Part 2 I will explain how much the Prime Minister, Speaker, Opposition Leader including other key Members in Parliament get paid including the special allowances that come with their pay.

Take-home pay every fortnight:
Prime Minister (1) K31,000
Speaker of Parliament (1) K24,000
Deputy Prime Minister (1) K24,000
Opposition Leader (1) K24,000
Minister of State (31) K21,000
Deputy Speaker (1) K18,000
Deputy Opposition (1) K18,000
Governor (20) K17,000
Vice-Minister (12) K16,500
Chairman of Parli’ Committee K16,500
Shadow Minister (12) K14,000
Government/Opposition Whip K14,000
Member of Parliament K12,700

Please note that these amounts have been rounded to the nearest K1,000 and may vary slightly depending on the tax rebates claimed for each members dependents.

Prime Minister actual base salary is K13,000 per fortnight less K5,000 in taxes and K2,000 deducted for retirement benefit contribution equals net wage of K6,000 however after adding K24,000 tax free allowances his take home fortnight pay ends up being K31,000.

This works out to an annual net salary of K806,000 and K4 million over their 5 year term.

What is retirement benefit fund?

Each member is required to contribute 15% of his base salary to his own retirement benefit fund. The State (tax payer) will also contribute a further percentage. It will make up the Member’s pension (retirement) fund should they lose their seat or retire. How much a member receives as a pension is based on how many terms they have served. An issue I will explain in future articles.

Ministers of State fort night base salary is K8,850 less K3,200 tax and K1,330 retirement fund equals net salary of K4,320 add K16,600 in tax free allowance and their fortnight take home pay actually comes to K21,000.

This works out to an annual take home salary of K546,000 and K2.7 million over their 5 year term.

I explained in part 1 that every member receives cash allowances however the higher office holders receive additional allowances. For example a Minister of State would receive the following allowances every fortnight.

Accommodation K4,260
Entertainment K435
Mobile K142
Telephone K115
Utilities K234
Domestic Services K200
Electoral Allowance K3,270
Electoral Vehicle K3,082
Electoral Vehicle Operating Costs K475
Personal Vehicle Allowance K2,856
Personal Vehicle Operating Costs K452
Support Vehicle K714
Support Vehicle Costs. K342

Total Tax Free Fortnight Allowances K16,577.

Other benefits received by Members of Parliament but not paid directly to them include;

Comprehensive Medical & Health Insurance
Security
Personal Staff

Vice-Ministers fort-night base salary is K4,856 less K1,602 tax and retirement benefit fund contribution of K730 leaving a net salary of K2,524, add K14,000 in tax free allowances and their net take home pay amounts to K16,500.

What is a Vice-Minister?

In 1994 Parliament passed a Vice Minister Act. Legislation (laws) providing for the establishment of 12 Vice Minister appointments by the Prime Minister. They are members of Parliament appointed to assist a Minister of State – like a deputy minister. The Act states that their function is to carryout ceremonial duties or to be a supportive spokesman in Parliament on the subject matter of the portfolio of the Minister or Ministers whom they are appointed to assist.

Parliament Sittings.

Parliament meets the cost of airfares for Members to travel to Port Moresby to attend parliament sitting. They are required to meet their own accommodation from the accommodation allowance received. They do not receive a sitting allowance but a one off K5,000 settling in allowance after being elected.

Travel allowance
Prime Minister, Deputy PM, Opposition Leader, Minister of State and Governor are entitled to US$500.00 (K1,600) a day travel allowance plus costs of accommodation, meals, transport. All other Members are entitled to $400 or K1,200 a day these are paid in addition to the fortnight wages.

For example if a Minister traveled overseas for ten days he would receive K16,000 cash in travel allowance when he returned he would still earn the K21,000 for the fortnight.

They are also entitled overseas clothing allowance – for summer clothing $600 (K1,800) and winter $1200 (K3,600). Summer clothing allowance is for every 2.5 years and the winter is off allowance for 5 years.

On Thursday National published details of my article on their front page of their paper. The article quoting me saying “I receive K12,756 a fortnight.” I never actually stated I receive K12,000 a fortnight. I’m a shadow Minister and therefore my actual fortnight wage is K14,000.

On Friday the paper ran a further article on the issue quoting the Clerk of Parliament saying he gets more than I do and thus he feels for me.

The reason behind my decision to expose just how much Members of Parliament earn each fortnight wasn’t to say I felt cheated for being paid less than other members of parliament but to make the point we are over paid and certainly under taxed at the expense of the rest of Papua New Guineas who struggle to survive, put their kids in school even meet basic medical costs.

Our pay comes directly from them not because of our high qualification and measure of our performance but because they set up the system to make is possible.

Members of Parliament don’t answer to anyone. We have a five year guaranteed job security, go to work when we want to and only need attend parliament sittings 63 days in year. Even then O’Neill Government tried to reduce it to just 40 days. One can imagine being paid K21,000 every fortnight and only having to go work (parliament) 40 days in year. – unlike everyone else who are subject to tax and paid according to their performance knowing they could be sacked anytime.

In 2017 over 30,000 grade 12 students will complete their secondly education with little or no job prospects. Several thousand more graduating from tertiary students will face the same issue.

In 2016 Nasfund received K457 million in contributions from its members but it also paid out K455 million the majority of which accounted for members who had lost their jobs and forced to draw down on their superannuation. This amount is expected increase in 2017 as the economy continues to flat line and companies continue to lay of its workers.

The outrageous fact is that the poor state of our economy is a direct result of bad decisions made by politicians – who will suffer little if any all while earning million kina wages over the next five years.

In part 3 of this article I will explain how wages paid to Members of Parliament are a tool used by Prime Minister to cement his position in office. I will also explain that a member’s pay is nothing to what they steal and double dip from DSIP and Department budgets every year.

Lastly we will compare what Members of Parliament receive in PNG versus what Australian Parliamentarians earn – A country whose economy is one of the strongest in the world, earning 1,000 Billion kina in revenue every year compared to PNG’s 10 Billion kina and yet our Members get paid more than they do.

picture: smiling faces of members recently appointed to Minister and Vice Minister portfolios and fortnight pay that come with.

source: Bryan Kramer – Facebook Wall.

SO HOW MUCH DOES AN PNG MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT GET PAID EVERY FORTNIGHT? – BRYAN KRAMER

By Bryan Kramer, Open MP for Madang.
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This issue has been raised a number of times on social media and now elected a Member of Parliament I can confirm many of those reports were not entirely accurate.

So what is the correct amount?

Firstly the amount depends on the office the Member of Parliament holds.

After elected every member is just that a Member of Parliament. However they may then be elected or appointed to hold a further office. For example

Prime Minister,
Deputy Prime Minister
Speaker of Parliament
Opposition Leader
Deputy Opposition Leader
Deputy Speaker of Parliament
Minister of State
Vice-Minister
Governor
Chairman of Parliamentary Committee
Deputy Chairman of Parliamentary Committee
Member of Parliamentary Committee
Government/Opposition Whip.

Prime Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker are positions elected by Parliament following general elections.

Once elected the Prime Minister is bestowed powers to appoint other Members of Parliament to be Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State and Vice-Ministers etc. He may also dictate the appointments of Chairman of Parliament Committee.

The Chair of each Committee are usually appointed by the Government. A parliamentary committee is committee made up of Members of Parliament appointed at the start of every new Parliament. They are made up of both members from the Government and Opposition. They act like a working or investigating committee holding public inquiries on important issues and reporting to Parliament their findings.

A Regional Member is sworn in as Governor by operation of law. (Organic Law on Provincial & Local-Level Governments.

Opposition Leader is elected by members in the Opposition and responsible for appointing his Deputy and Shadow Ministers.

Government or Opposition Whip are Members of Parliament appointed to manage and organise the Members of Government or Opposition. To ensure that all members abide by formal parliamentary practices and procedures and more importantly are present and vote along Government or Opposition lines. The term Whip originated from fox hunting in England. The whipper was a person who whipped all the hunting hounds into a pack, pointed them in the right direction to chase the fox and ensured that the pack did not stray.

An ordinary Member of Parliament is an Member who has not been elected to or appointed any special offices named above. His base fortnight salary is K4,038 less base tax of K1,274, and 15% Superannuation (K4,038 x 15%) = 605.81 equals net take home pay of K2,158 per fortnight.

Now such an amount seems rather reasonable and what most middle to senior managers in a medium size company would receive.

However it is not what a Member of Parliament takes home he actually takes home around K12,756.00 per fort night.

So where did the additional K10,598 come from?

Well answer is “Allowances” Depending on the office he is appointed or elected it seems a Member of Parliament receives cash allowances for everything but the kitchen sink. An important issue being the allowances are tax free.

In addition to a Member of Parliament’s base salary after tax and superannuation of K2,158 following cash allowances are added:

Accommodation K2,486
Electoral Allowance K3,036
Electoral Vehicle K3,082
Electoral Vehicle Operating Costs K475
Personal Vehicle Allowance K1,142
Personal Vehicle Operating Costs K298
Utilities K79

Total Allowances K10,598.

So what does K12,756 a fortnight add upto in a year?

K331,657 or K1.6 million over their 5 year Parliament term.

So where does all this money come from?

Well the short answer is You. The sad fact is if your are working Papua New Guinea you are taxed on your accommodation, even the company vehicle provided to you – so pretty much everything including the kitchen sink while Members of Parliament are zero taxed on our cash allowances that make upto 70% of our gross wage.

It is important to note ordinary Members of Parliament that earn K12,000 a fortnight are the lowest paid.

In part 2 of this article I will discuss in detail what every other Member is paid starting from Prime Minister down to the Opposition.

In part 3 I will provide insight in how increase in Members wages and appointments by Prime Minister are used as inducements to serve political interests rather than the welfare of the people.

Lastly we will then compare what PNG Members get paid compared to Australian Parliamentarians, a country that earns the equivalent of 1,000 Billion Kina in revenue every year in comparison to PNG’s K10 Billion to establish whether our Members pay are even justified.

OWA FROM GOILALA IN A TUNNEL – IS OWA FROM GOILALA?

owa

By FRANKLIN KOLMA – Post Courier.

A SIXTEEN-year-old cripple boy sleeping on the streets of a prominent part of Port Moresby has little to be merry about this Christmas after being refused help at his every turn.

As people are out looking for Christmas presents eagerly anticipating weekend festivities, young Jerry Owa does not know where his next meal will come from.

Owa from Goilala in Central Province suffers from a debilitating wound on his right leg that has crippled him since 2014 and persistent migraines that he says have plagued him for longer.

Yesterday when approached by Post-Courier, Jerry – reluctant at first – said that that he has spent the last four months sleeping around the Waigani Central tunnel overpass begging for help.

“Mi laikim help lo sua (I want help for my wound),” was his short but effective message. He said that he sits at the tunnel area usually when traffic is at its peak in the mornings and at noon, calling out for help as he points to his leg. Unfortunate as it may sound, even with his evidently bloated leg, he has not received any medical attention to date.

“Mi singautim ol police kar ol save lap na sompla taim ol tok nogutim mi tu (When I call out to police cars, they laugh at me and sometimes they swear at me).

“Ol man meri save givim mi moni tasol em mi save baim bisket na pinis gen (People give me money but I usually have enough for just a biscuit and then I am left with nothing again),” said Jerry.

He said that he traveled to Port Moresby in September on a PMV after spending the majority of his life alone in a makeshift shelter near 17-Mile, in Moresby Northeast, on the way to Sogeri.

When asked about his parents, Owa refused to speak and was evidently upset. He maintained that he has spent the last 10 years of his childhood alone, living an almost hermit-like existence.

Being a genuinely simple boy, Owa said that he does not feel good when people give him money as he often feels that they do it out of spite. He said that all that he wants is to receive medical treatment for his legs and a proper place he can rest in.

Owa is seeking medical treatment and is hoping that a charitable person or entity can come forward and help him out of his dilemma.

________________________________________________

A couple of things that do not add up to confirming this child to be from GOILALA.

1. Facial features do not prove the kid to be from Goilala.
2. OWA – Owa is not a Traditional Goilala name.
3. Why Run the story when the kid does not want to discuss his parents?

PRESS RELEASE: GOILALA MP THANKS SUPPORTERS (GOILALA PEOPLE)

THANK YOU TEAM FOR STANDING BY ME AND PANGU PARTY LEADER – WILIAM SAMB.

Thank You all people of Goilala across the 3 LLG – Tapini, Guari & Woitape, for standing by me and Deputy Opposition Leader, who is also our Pangu Party Leader and Bulolo MP Hon Samuel H. Basil for the whole process of VONC.

Today I still remained in the opposition and voted for the VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the Prime Pinister.

My consence was clear and the people of Goilala demand Honesty and Integrety and Rule of Law.

That is the basis of my stand today which is also the basis of my life.

I will lead a team that rules with these virtues for Goilala.

Whether we are in Opposition or Government we will still move Goilala forward.

Thank You all once again. And may our good God richly Bless and lead us here on.

APPROVED FOR RELEASE
MP Goilala – Hon William Samb.

PROGRESS SO FAR IN GOILALA – PRESS RELEASE

Below is a sneak preview on what Goilala Open MP Honorable William Samb, a Pangu Party member, has done for Goilala to date since taking office since August 2015.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Tapini Highway Open up – First phase done
  • Dubuy Highway Road to Wotiape – In progress
  • Visat Installation – mobilization in progress
  • Rural Airstrips – MOU with Rural Airstrips Agency – final stages

HEALTH

  • MOU with Manolos Aviation – Flying Clinic – signed.
  • Retrieve of Patients from Goilala to Pom Gen Hospital – on going
  • Logistical Support for Health Teams – On going

EDUCATION:

  • Distribution of School materials and supplies – done
  • Logistics and Transportation of teachers and families to respective schools – done
  • Project Fees – Tapini Sacred Heart High School – paid
  • School Truck for Tapini Sacred Heart High school – in progress

DISASTER:

  • Formation of Goilala District Disaster Committee – done
  • Relief supplies purchased from PB Chung – in progress for distribution

INCOME EARNING OPPORTIUNITIES

  • Sopu inland farming – funded
  • Kataipa Coffee Rehabilitations – funded
  • Waterfall Cooperative – Funded

ADMINISTRATION

  • Woitape District Administration Building Maintenance – in progress
  • Guari District Rehabilitations – in progress
  • 5 x Land Cruisers for 3 LLG Presidents, Admin Office – funded
  • Funding support for World Bank pilot project in Tapini LLG – funded

OTHERS

  • This is the First Ever Joint District Development Authority Meeting to be held jointly by two different Districts [Goilala and Bulolo] from two different provinces [Central and Morobe].

WHATS COOKING?
Goilala District First Ever Newsletter will be coming out NEXT. Fully documenting the projects outlined in this brief publication and with foreword from Honourable Member for Goilala Mr William Samb, his District CEO Mr Titus Girau and compliments and views from various stakeholders involved in various development projects across Goilala.

This Newsletter will enable the small people out in the far-fetched villages and hamlets in remote corners of Goilala to be fully informed of what their duly elected Member is doing with their District Support Infrastructure Project funds since taking office in August 2015.

JOINT DISTRICT DDA – BULOLO & GOILALA

Joint Goilala and Bulolo District Development Authority Meeting held at Parliament House on Monday 11/04/16 marks the beginning of a new chapter in the development aspirations of both Districts.


The purpose of the meeting was to formally agree on an MOU that will see joint assistance in providing much needed services to villagers bordering both Districts.

Most Government services don’t reach boarder villagers and such an understanding now enables for services provided by one District to overlap into another District regardless of the Electoral Boundaries.

This is one of the many Pangu Pati Development Concept that will be adopted and applied in all Provinces and Districts if Pangu Pati is given the mandate in 2017.

Source: Steve Clay’s Facebook Wall

SHP 5 years Master Plan – William Titipe Powi

William Titipe Powi contested for Southern Highlands Provincial Seat under Peter O’Neill’s party – People’s National Congress (PNC), in the 2012 election. On the race with him were Joseph Kopol (independent), Vincent Mirupasi (independent), Silvester Harry Komba (independent) and others. They were contesting for the seat left vacant by Anderson Agiru (current Hela Governor). At the end of the final elimination, Powi was declared winner on 27 July 2012 with a total votes of 139, 308.

Before switching code into politics, Powi has been the serving as the Southern Highlands Provincial Administrator for about 10 years. Under his belt as the administrator, he delivered absolutely NOTHING to the province. He only manipulated and controlled all the administrative functions of the provincial government to suit his business and political interest. Development funds were used to pay ghost projects and then diverted into personal account to run election. For instance, during the 2012 election in Southern Highlands, a district administrator in one of the districts in SHP was campaigning for Mr. Powi. His home became another campaign house for his former boss (Powi). Food and money became political platform of winning support. I also heard other districts administrators, education and health bosses plus other divisional heads walking here and there throwing support at the back of Powi.

Powi

When Powi was declared as the SHP Governor, his first talk as the governor was the FIVE YEARS MASTER PLAN, a plan he described as the brainchild for the development in SHP. The master plan has raised the eyebrows of other 21 provinces that have been operating on FIVE YARS DEVELOPMENT PLAN. It also attracted the attention of international communities. With much been preached and boasted about this cut and paste master plan, other provinces thought that SHP will transform into a model province after some donkey years of decaying or falling backward.

The money milking plan captured infrastructure rehabilitation, law and justice sector, education, health and developing the agriculture sector. Those development areas are paper names to please the readers and seek attention. There is absolutely NOTHING on the ground that will reflect what is captured in the master plan. The master planner himself has a track record of gross abuse and misuse of PUBLIC FUNDS and maladministration during his term as the provincial administrator and getting the name tag as the political head of the province does not change his self-serving lifestyle at all. It is the title that changes. His way of life remained unchanged. The performance indicators are well below the previous years. The education, health, agriculture and infrastructure developments continue to decline despite the existence of the master plan. Look at the number of students entering into tertiary institutions. The numbers have been declining ever since Powi was in power (administration and political level).

As a matter of fact, the master plan was another money milking cut and paste fake document developed by one of the known academic at a very expensive cost as if it will come to fulfillment. If I can remember it correctly, at its introductory stage, more than K50 000 was paid to run the publication of this fake master plan on print media several times. From the layman’s point of view, nothing captured in the half-baked master plan diverges from the termly five years development plan where every mandated leader submits to the government agency as one of their constitutional requirements. In other words, it was just another WASTE of PUBLIC/DEVELOPMENT FUNDS.

In one of the news conference with EMTV after the court cleared his election petition case, Powi said top of the development agenda will also be to revive the tea and coffee plantations in the province. So far, 3.5 years has lapsed and there is no sign of tea and coffee plantations popping out.

Mendi town is decaying. Businesses are finding it very difficult to survive or cannot make enough profit because majority of the Southern Highlanders especially those in Kagua/Erave, Pangia/Ialibu and Imbonggu prefer Mt. Hagen over Mendi to do their daily business. This has lowered the business activities drastically in the provincial capital. The 7 floor Agiru Centre is like another ghost building. One can tell from its outside appearances.

I do not know whether this was part of master plan or not. In Powi’s 2013 Provincial Budget, he committed an initial K3 million to hire cars alone. In 4 years, it would be about K12 million. The hire car contract was given to former Mendi MP and losing PNC candidate Michael Nali to provide hire vehicles to the provincial administration at the rate of K900 per day. This is yet another CLEAR ABUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS. The sectors mentioned in the master plan were overlooked and snubbed. It would be cost effective if Powi allocated money to buy new vehicles for public servants than to hire vehicles. There is zero benefit out of this hire car deals. No logic here. The National Planning Minister Hon Charles Abel has made it very clear that government departments must do away with hiring of vehicles. Yet, the master plan founder went ahead to award the hire car contract to his business partner.

On 16th September, 2013 during the 38th Independence anniversary celebration, Mr Powi announced that under the SHP government’s new master plan, a Graduate Scheme will be set up commencing in 2014 onwards for the benefit of fresh SHP graduates from institutions of higher education. He said under the graduate scheme Southern Highlanders who graduate in various fields of expertise would be brought back to the province to work in the districts.

In 2014, tertiary students in various universities and colleges were privileged to benefit from this so-called useless scheme. Each Southern Highlander (student) was entitled to at least K500 or 7OO school fee. The payments were received very late, near the closure of academic year. It was another laughing stock when compared to other provinces. This year (2015), NO payments were made. All the attempts made by the student leaders were unsuccessful. Mr Powi failed to honour his paper commitment as stipulated in the cut and paste master plan. Look at what Morobe Provincial Government (MPG) is doing with its scholarship scheme. MPG caters for FULL school fees for its citizens who attend any affiliated tertiary institutions. I am one of the proud recipients of MPG scholarship with a full package of K11 730. Central Provincial Government under Kila Haoda is committing K2 000 each to every Central student attending various tertiary institutions. Yet for Southern Highlands, even though it is one of the resource rich provinces in the country, has absolutely nothing to offer to the elite Southern Highlanders attending tertiary institutions. Is Mr Powi blind to read his very own master plan, something he treated as the brainchild for the province?

There are countless numbers of money milking unfinished and ghost projects initiated by Powi, which to this date remained paper projects. I remember million kina public fund pumped into building a K50 000 cost grandstand and public toilet in Momei Oval, Mendi. I was wondering if it was part of the fake master plan.

There are numerous allegations that the governor has properties worth millions in Cairns, Fiji and Port Moresby and many wives to provide the satisfaction that he needs. May be it must be part of the master plan too.

Surprisingly on Friday 20 November, 2015, Powi was shouted down and rejected by his own people when he was about to give his speech. This happened right in front the eyes of high profile dignitaries like Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia and others during the official opening of the District and National Courts in Mendi.

Interestingly, in his concluding speech he said, IF YOU DON’T LIKE ME, CHALLENGE ME IN 2017. Only a fool would have said that.

My simple observation and view is that, 2012 election victory of Powi came because of the following;

1. He contested under Peter O’Neill’s Party (PNC),

2. The administrative manipulation during his term as the provincial administrator to gain support through the divisional and district heads.

People have now realized all the garbage brought by the self-serving fake master plan. Come 2017, they will show him the exit door and a new governor will be elected, may be from Mendi Central or Eastern end. That is my prediction. You might have yours.

Author/Contributor: Charlie Clyde Tikaro