In the National Assembly ‘No adjustments to ministers’ salaries’ |28 October 2021
Members of the National Assembly have learnt that there have not been any adjustments to ministers’ salaries but a few modifications to the allowances they receive.
It was the Minister for Transport Antony Derjacques who made those clarification when answering a private notice question by the leader of the opposition Hon. Sebastien Pillay on the issue on behalf of the minister responsible for Public Administration.
Minister Derjacques stated that there are no adjustments to the salaries of ministers noting that their salaries are guided by the Ministers’ Emolument Act 2013 which comprises different bands and steps.
He informed Assembly members that bands for ministers is 17 and that all ministers are still on Step 1 and this is until they complete one year or more of service when they will proceed to Step 2 but this is not yet the case.
He further noted that the ministers’ present salaries are similar to that of the leader of the opposition and because adjustments in salaries will require amendment to the regulation, it is something that all MNAs would be made aware when the time comes as it would have to be approved by Assembly members themselves.
Additionally with regard to adjustment to their allowances, these are guided by the ministers’ terms and conditions of service and what has changed are as follows:
- entertainment allowance of R5000 per month which has increased to R7500 for when ministers receive other ministers and other VIPs;
- an annual clothing allowance of R18,000 (recently introduced);
- housing allowance, what is new is the fact that for many years previously minister received up to R25,000 for their personal security but for those ministers who were not using the allocation for one reason or another or they were renting a house, the money could now go towards paying housing rents;
- increase in subsistence allowance from three to five days for ministers’ overseas medical check-up;
- R10,000 annually for a minister’s local medical check-up including medical, dental and eye care and this is also a new addition.
Meanwhile Minister Derjacques also noted that the leader of the opposition who follows just after the ministers on the protocol order, his salary and clothing allowance is equivalent to the ministers’, his phone allowance is R6000 per month while that of the ministers still stand at R4000 and his fuel allowance is R8000 per month.
Commenting on the mentioned allocations related to his person, Hon. Pillay stated that all these are managed by the National Assembly and if there is any need, he has to make a claim to the Assembly. Furthermore Hon. Pillay went on to ask Minister Derjacques if he does not believe that at a time of economic hardship, when all Seychellois are being called to make sacrifices, the increases in certain allowances for ministers are uncalled for and untimely.
With regard to the ministers’ security, Hon. Pillay remarked that they are now receiving the R25,000 while at the same time benefitting from security provided by the State.
Furthermore he added that the sum could be interpreted as part rental for ministers while ordinary Seychellois citizens have to go through a hard time to bargain and often cannot secure R2000 as part rental for a housing rent.
Minister Derjacques came in to clarify that there has not been any new increase of R25,000 but that the sum has been there for many years and the adjustment concerns only the three or four ministers who are renting housing facilities and need to move to a more secure environment because of their status.
While he admitted that the country’s economy is going through a challenging time, Minister Derjacques said the government is working hard to improve the country’s economic situation and all signs point to a positive outcome and the government is also trying to help as many people as possible and encouraging those without a job to seek a formal employment.
But he added that the welfare system still exists and all people who need support will get help and the government is doing things well.
For his part Hon. Pillay insisted that the security allotment be reviewed and stressed that the security allowance should not be transferable to that of housing.