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Iraqi MPs' lavish £180,000 salaries causing public outrage

981 Views 15 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BigDreamer
Iraq's lawmakers are being paid over £180,000 a year-for working for only 20 minutes since they were elected in March, and without passing a single law.

As Iraq's parliament prepares to hold what will be only its second session since the inconclusive election that brought the MPs to office, lawmakers' lavish salaries are causing deep resentment among Iraqis struggling to make ends meet.

Divisions among political blocs have prevented the formation of a new government, and not a single law has been debated, much less passed. Lawmakers are now preparing to hold a second session but only because the Supreme Court last week ordered them to return to work.

The MPs' sole meeting so far, which took place in June, consisted of a Quranic reading, the playing of the national anthem and the swearing-in of new members. It produced one decision: to leave the session open but unattended, technicality to allow more time to choose a new leadership since the election failed to give any party a majority.

"They are enjoying a paid vacation," said Jalal Mohammed, a retired clerk for the administrative council in the southern city of Basra.

Iraqi MPs get a base salary of £6,500 a month, on which they pay just 6 per cent tax. In addition, they receive £7,800 a month for housing and security arrangements. There is also a one-off £37,500 stipend to cover expenses during their four-year term. Regardless of whether parliament is in session or not, MPs are entitled to stay free at Baghdad's Rasheed Hotel and collect a £375 per diem when travelling inside or out of Iraq.

Once out of office, they get 80 per cent of their salary for life.

A high schoolteacher or a doctor in a public hospital typically earn about a tenth of an MPs monthly pay

Lawmakers justify high salaries saying they risk their lives participating in the political process.

"We are exposed to violent incidents in our houses, on the streets, and even in the parliament," said Sheikh Haidar al-Jorani, a Basra lawmaker with the prime minister's State of Law party. He said he had to repair his family home in Basra after it was damaged by a nearby bomb blast.

But the Shia religious leadership, always tuned into sentiment among the Iraqi religious majority, has warned politicians against living the high life while ordinary people lack basic services, such as electricity and water. In a mosque sermon Friday, Ahmed al-Safi, an aide to Iraq's top Shiite cleric urged parliament to lower their salaries when they next meet.
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complete and utter scum. even saddam's goons were not this overt in their robbing and disdain.

just imagine the pensions payments after 6-7 parliaments... we would paying pensions for about 3000 ex-MPs at $100k average per annum per MP... $300M per year...

they get paid all this for retarding the country. Iraq would be better off with no government and a state of anarchy than the current situation.
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this is absolutely insane.. I had no clue it was this crazy !

they must stop this immediately, as you rightly put it.. this will cost hundreds of millions a year paying ex-MP salaries.

Where I live, MPs get a standard salary (well above average) but certainly not 10 times the salary of a public doctor !!!, and they certainly don't get paid for life !!

The point that infuriates me is that they've been paid for doing NOTHING at all.. as the article mentioned, they only did 20 min worth of work.. most of that were listening to the quran, and the national anthem !
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Iraq needs a new grass roots political party with the following aims:

1- Government salaries are limited to 2x minimum wage (including MPs)
2- Government is funded by taxation from Corporate, income and import duties/taxes and not oil revenue
3- Oil money is put into a fund that invests in joint-stock companies and services in Iraq.
4- All ID cards replaced by one universal ID card with full biometric information.
5- No more subsidised electricity or ration programme
6- All government budgets have to be within the confines of what can be raised through taxation / levies, which are limited to 80% of "world average" to keep Iraq competitive.
7- Deficit is limited to a maximum of 5% for one year, reducing by 1% for each subsequent year.
8- Import duties levied on all produce that can be produced in Iraq, up to a maximum of 30% (in order to keep local manufacturers competitive).
9- Lawfare unit in the foreign ministry established to fight Iraq's cause against countries who are harming Iraq, both legally and using international PR.
10- Government employees are employees of the people, and online networks can be used by citizens to raise complaints and vote down / remove corrupt/incompetent/criminal state employees from minister down to street cleaner.
11- Local neighbourhoods are responsible for contracting refuse removal / street cleaning (either within their community, or using a contractor). Failure to comply can result in quarantine of that area from any public services until its cleaned up.
12- Punitive penalties for all anti-social behaviour including, littering, graffiti, dirty shops, illegal stalls, illegal parking, breaking public property, dirty cars / houses (external) etc... make the salaries of policemen tied to a monthly "catch" as well as higher bonus for reducing offence rates. Police pay from these penalties, at the same time citizens have the right to overturn and highlight police abuse using an electronic system with a local court for small claims (consistently bad policemen given extremely punitive jail terms to deter them from false claims) - police must provide video/photo evidence of offences.
13- Make democracy universal, with people's universal IDs they should be able to vote on services, policies, members of parliament, quality of services as well as create new topics with a threshold for raising it to parliament once enough votes are included.
14- Eliminate all "foreign studentships" and "bi3that" and bring all necessary expertise in country instead, to eliminate the many funding the lifestyle and personal aspiration of the few.
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I cross-linked this with

please add to this list! we need a new manifesto to get rid of these utter scum by 2014! otherwise iraq becomes a new somalia forever.
15- Guaranteed minimum wage job for every citizen who needs a job. (but no handouts). The "Oil fund" is used to create economically viable and sustainable jobs for all the unemployed with immediate effect as the handouts are taken away.
16- The government has to regulate all private and joint stock companies, in line with international and newly created national standards.
17- The "Oil fund" has to invest in medium to long term public-private initiatives where commercial or private funding is insufficient. The criteria is that the service provided has to be usefull for society and has a Return over the long term (20 years). Such projects include, desalination, solar electricity, mass housing projects, roads and urban railways, phosphates and cement, ports, etc...
18- Part of the oil fund (5%) is used to invest in Research & Development of technologies where Iraq has a potential edge (not reinventing the wheel). These include solar air conditioning, solar powered vehicles, desert farming, medical/pharmaceutical technologies, optics, etc... The research can use up to 20% foreign experts, but they must be based physically in Iraq.
19- Iraq should stop pegging the dinar to the USD and let it float freely. Also invest the USD reserves into local joint stock industries to eliminate imports where its economically viable (farming, power generation, light industries, cement, bricks, to begin with...).
20- Encourage and promote the technology leapfrogging of Iraq to surpass the world in a number of key pillars of technologies. including petrochemicals, solar power, desalination, desert farming and air conditioning, solar vehicles, and modern power storage / transmission techniques.
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21- All ministries are dissolved and replaced with simple "regulatory authorities" that have to be funded within the limits of what can be raised from taxes. They are not allowed a single penny from oil revenues.
22- The only remaining "ministries" are defence (interior is merged with it), foreign ministry and Economic ministry (finance / oil ministry merged together). The Higher education and education ministries are dissolved and replaced by an "education standards regulator", ditto for electricity ministry etc...
23- Political freedom for all, and a general amnesty to pre and post 2003 exiles.
24- "Collective guilt" principle for murder and terrorism crimes (similar to old fashioned tribal laws) to eliminate terrorism by local actors and eliminate the aiding and abbeting for foreign terrorists coming into Iraq (by collective it means immediate family held liable for crimes, forcing them to report in terrorists before a crime is committed). - This is an "emergency law" that can be repealed by a simple majority after a period of 5 years in a public plebliscite and return Iraq to International norms in criminal laws.
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the list is great ! but who the hell will listen? :eek:hno:
Ima so angry that i swear i think its bad for my health.

Something ahs to change, they only ever agree when they vote in regards to their salary, iam so angry
Sheytan you should establish your own political party and go for the next election :D
Sheytan you should establish your own political party and go for the next election :D
why bother? no one will vote for this.
But if we tolerate this, who will stop this insanity. I honestly can't think of any party that is willing to stop these insane profligate operating costs.

Can you imagine what ministers, deputies, president/ VPs etc. all get paid ?? (probably at least a magnitude of scale higher than this !), and I'm sure they would get paid for life too! How stupid ! :nuts:
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In fact Iraqi oil revenue has been setup as a pyramid scheme for the benefit of government ministers - MPs - Ministry officials "director generals" - corrupt/incompetent contractors who are in cahoots with them.

everyone else (99% of the country) lives off the crumbs of their spending.

Oil money should be held in a non-profit fund managed by fund managers on small salaries.

The government should be run on whatever taxes it can raise from income tax/corporate tax/import duties/fines (and most of that should go to the "defence" ministry first and foremost, since that's the one area we can't have decentralised or privatised).
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Iraq to Cut Salaries, Benefits of Top Officials by End of April

Iraq’s parliament plans to adopt legislation to cut the pay and benefits of top officials by the end of the month, Speaker Usama al-Nujaifi said.

Parliament will start discussing the matter on April 26 and pass one law or three separate ones by the end of April, al- Nujaifi said in a press conference in Baghdad.

The government approved in February a draft law that would cut senior officials’ salaries and benefits by more than half. The money saved is meant to be used for reconstruction projects and to achieve equality in pay and benefits.

Iraqi protesters, inspired by unrest across the Arab world, have taken to the streets to demonstrate against poor living conditions, power rationing and corruption. Iraq, which has the world’s fifth-biggest crude-oil reserves, is seeking foreign investment to help boost energy exports and to pay for rebuilding of the economy and infrastructure after decades of war and sanctions.

The law would cut the salaries and benefits of the president, the prime minister, the parliament speaker and all their deputies by more than 50 percent, government spokesman Ali Al-Dabbagh said Feb. 22. Compensation for ministers and members of parliament would be slashed by more than 40 percent.

Parliament approved in February a 96.6 trillion-dinar ($83 billion) budget for 2011 that forecasts a deficit of 15.7 trillion dinars.
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