Lawmakers’ salary increase riles Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo.- The increaseof a senator’s salary to RD$320,000 (US$6,960) monthly and now a possibly similarhike for deputies spurred heated debate whether legal, ethical or its timing.
Think tank Bonó Center coordinator Roque Feliz called the senators’salary increase irritating, at a time when workers nationwide need and expectan increase in salaries.
The questioned increase also occurs while numerous bill are pending approval, since theconstitutional reform of 2010.
"It constitutes an irritating gesture that Congresswill increase, especially when you know that all of these increases are fueledby political pork barrels, a way of keeping extra-institutional mechanisms to respondto voters," Féliz said.
He urged lawmakers to ensure a public health system workingwith public policy, rather than handing out payments for prescriptions and foodsubsidies to poor families.
"They should be concerned about having an effectivefood security program for the entire population in the country," he said,quoted by diariolibre.com, adding that the lawmakers are acting grossly and “plutocratic,”because only those who have millions of pesos can win a seat in Congress.