Politicians continue push for higher allowances both at the CMC and in Parliament

Politicians continue push for higher allowances both at the CMC and in Parliament

Written by Staff Writer

16 Aug, 2018 | 8:39 am

Colombo (News 1st) – The Standing Committee on Finance of the Colombo Municipal Council has decided to increase the allowance of Councilors by 125%.

At the council sessions held on the 26 July 2018, Colombo Mayor Rosy Senanayake had presented the proposal to raise the allowance given to councilors. The proposal notes the allowance must be increased by Rs. 25,000 to meet the level of respect of the Municipal Councilor.

Members of the CMC currently receive an allowance of Rs. 20,000. If the proposed increase is implemented the monthly allocation made by the CMC to pay these allowances would increase from Rs. 2.38mn to over Rs. 5.35mn.


It is no surprise that a proposal has been made at the CMC to increase monthly allowance because a similar proposal to increase the salaries of MPs was floated in Parliament recently. While the United National Party opposed this move to increase the salaries of all MPs, they are now attempting to increase the allowances granted to Government MPs under the guise of the Gamperaliya project. The UNP plans to provide a Rs 200,000 allowance for 55 MPs who have been named Monitoring MPs for the project.

Commenting on the matter UPFA MP Udaya Gammanpila stated that while attempts are being made to grant such an allowance to MPs of the Government, those expecting their pensions for the month of August are yet to be paid. He noted that if the Government is facing a cashflow issue, they should focus on stopping overseas visits, stopping the importation of luxury vehicles and scams such as the proposed fuel allowance for monitoring MPs.

When questioned about the matter Co-cabinet Spokesperson, Min. Gayantha Karunathilaka stated that there is nothing deceitful about providing a fuel allowance. He retorted by stating that the previous Government issued band new luxury SUVs to the MPs through the Ministry of Economic Development.

If the proposed Rs. 200,000 fuel allowance is granted to the 55 MPs, it means that the taxpayer will have to bear an additional burden of Rs 11mn each month. in comparison, the same value could fund around 1o reverse osmosis plants to provide clean drinking water for those in desperate need of it.

A logical question would be, wouldn’t the people and the Government itself stand to benefit more by devoting this money to actual development instead of monitoring development activities?


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