Philadelphia, USA– The Vice Standard Bearer of Liberia’s largest opposition, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and ex-wife of war crimes convict Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor, is calling for increment in salary for Liberian lawmakers.
Addressing a cross-section of Liberians in the United States last Friday evening in Philadelphia, United States, Senator Taylor responding to a question from the audience on the huge salaries lawmakers take home in what has been described as sheer insensitivity in war ravaged Liberia, given the extreme poverty the citizens in the homeland are going through and being described in some quarters as unacceptable. Reports say lawmakers also ride luxurious cars and have accrued to themselves exorbitant and hefty benefits, as their constituents bleed in abject poverty. The Vice Standard Bearer told the audience that the current salaries of USD$10,000.00 Senators earned was in “fact not enough” and should be increased to commiserate with the fabulous salaries of cabinet Ministers. Senator Taylor further justified the necessity to increase lawmakers salaries because as she puts it, they cater to their constituents who came to their offices daily for assistance and in some cases they pay tuition, underwrite burial cost and make other expenditures for their constituents. Liberian senators other reports say make upward of 15-20,000 monthly when all their perks and benefits are added. Liberian legislators have refused to accept audits and release information concerning their salaries, according to reports. In a widely circulated audit by Moore Stevens, 66 of 68 contracts rectified by the Liberian Assembly were declared fraudulent. And several reports have indicted Liberian Lawmakers for taking bribes despite their huge salaries in the poor West African country. Liberian Senators have also received bribes from presidential appointees and nominees for hearings.
When asked what did she do when her former husband, the war crime convict, Charles Taylor reigned terror in Liberia, an infuriated Senator pushed back hard by defending her marriage to the former President and said she is proud of who she is and not responsible for what her husband did and that she too is a victim of Liberia’s 14-year civil war. Taylor in a high-pitch voice reaction told the Liberian gathering that she can only can account for what she did during the war and that she provided relief assistance to victims during the war and can not account for what her husband, Charles Taylor did.
A typical Liberian lives on barely USD$2.00 a day while lawmakers live by USD$333.33 in relation to their USD$10,000.00 monthly salaries, excluding other perks and benefits which could double the monthly salaries of lawmakers and yet despite this huge disparity. reports say a typical Liberian Senator makes upward to about 15,000-20,000 dollars monthly, even while the country faces recessions and budget shortfalls.
Meanwhile, said Taylor, ” if anyone has evidence that the party Standard Bearer George Weah holds a foreign citizenship and could forward that evidence to the National Election Commission (NEC), surely Senator Weah will withdraw from the party’s ticket”.
— J K K Peah @email@example.com. The full report from this excerpts can be read at www.thenewdispensation.com