The Edition


COVID-19: Parliament slashes MP salaries by 20%

Ahmed Aiham
18 March 2020, MVT 20:36
Parliamentary session underway. PHOTO: PARLIAMENT.
Ahmed Aiham
18 March 2020, MVT 20:36

The Parliament on Wednesday, decided to slash 20 percent of all MP's basic salary for a period of two months.

The motion to reduce lawmakers' salaries were submitted to Parliament by the ruling Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), which holds a supermajority in Parliament, as recommended by the Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer.

MP salary composition

- Basic Salary: MVR 42,500

- Living Allowance: MVR 20,000

- Committee Allowance: MVR 20,000

Following the deduction, an MP's take-home stands at MVR 74,000, which will save the state MVR 739,000 per month.

Members of the public have called for further reductions on MP salaries, noting the significant wage gaps between high-risk low-income households and parliamentarians. Activists within civil society have highlighted that a significant amount of parliamentarians have external income sources as well.

Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed stated that lawmakers and administrative staff will work from home this Thursday onwards.

In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers also decided to reduce government expenses by MVR 1 billion.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih recently revealed that the government were to lose between USD 135.9 million (MVR 2.5 billion) and USD 446.6 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in state revenue this year under current circumstances amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

Currently there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Maldives, including a tourist couple on a liveaboard, two cases from Anantara Dhigu, five foreign nationals from Kuredu Island Resort as well as two foreign citizens from Sandies Bathala and Kuramathi Maldives each. No locals have tested positive for the virus as of yet.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 199,300 and claimed over 7,900 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 82,700 have recovered.