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Azeri parliamentarians increase their own salaries

Originally published by JAMnews

The parliament of Azerbaijan has decided to increase the salaries of parliamentarians, judges and an ombudsman by 10% as per the president’s suggestion.

The Azerbaijani parliamentarians were already receiving a monthly salary triple that of the national average, 1,575 manats (approximately 900 dollars) compared to 500 manats (approximately 300 dollars) respectively.

Starting from the 1 May 2018 MPs will receive 1,732 manats (approximately 1,000 dollars) while the committee chairpersons, vice-speakers and the parliamentary speaker will receive even more.

Not all MPs are satisfied by this decision. Some of them believe that their salaries should have been even higher, considering the devaluation of the national currency over the past years:

“It has to be done in such a way that governmental officials don’t have any reason to seek any additional sources of income. A prime minister and a speaker should have a salary of 10 thousand manats (approximately 5 900 dollars,) and MPs should receive a minimum of eight thousand manats (approx 4 700 dollars),” said Gudrat Hasanguliyev, a parliamentarian.

Economist Toghrul Mashalli said that, apart from their salary increases, MPs should also receive a monetary allowance that is double their salary and not taxable.

And at the end of the year they should also receive double their salary, referred to as ‘representation expenses’. Yet that is not all.

“When MPs take a vacation they are entitled to receive a holiday allowance equaling two month’s salaries. Their business trips and transportation expenses should also be paid out of the (state) budget. Apart from that they should also be provided with a vehicle.”

Social network commentators, just as Gudrat Hasanguliyev, are not happy with the salary increases, but for other reasons:

“The topic of the day: ‘make people mad.'”

“They should get paid by another nation because they haven’t done anything for this nation.”

“Let them take a bit of my salary, too.”

“They’re just spitting in the people’s faces. This should not be, when (ordinary) people cannot even find the means for bread. Allah will punish them for this.”

“Our people have been made to understand long ago who they are and what they are. According to their system, (people are) a kind of servant, or biomaterial with passports. So you either accept it or 'have to leave the country.'”

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