Maldives Parliament, Photo: Parliament

MPs Oppose Salary Cuts, Support Capping Number of Legislators

In today's parliamentary session, most MPs opposed reducing their salary and allowances but supported limiting the number of MPs to prevent future increases.

During the debate on a resolution proposed by Baarah MP Ibrahim Shujau, aimed at seeking MPs' views on capping their numbers, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP for Galolhu Uthuru Mohamed Ibrahim highlighted the high expenditure on MPs' salaries and benefits. He provided statistics to illustrate the point.

"We spent MVR 448 million over five years on just the salary and insurance of 87 MPs during the 19th Majlis. In the 20th Majlis with 93 MPs, we are heading towards MVR 479 million, marking an increase of MVR 30 million," MP Mohamed Ibrahim noted.

Despite his concerns, Baarah MP Shujau, the resolution's sponsor, was the first to argue against reducing salaries, claiming the compensation was already low.

"[The salary of MPs being high] is something that's talked about a lot among the public as well. I believe that the salary received from this People's Majlis is low. Honourable Speaker, the salary that MPs of this honourable Majlis get is low," Shujau asserted.

Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim echoed Shujau's sentiments, deeming the salaries insufficient.

Most MPs from the People's National Congress (PNC) also spoke against reducing their compensation. PNC MP for Kudahuvadhoo Hussain Hameed argued that MPs often serve as welfare portals, providing financial assistance to many citizens. PNC MP for Kolamaafushi Ibrahim Didi pointed out that expenditures on heads of institutions and companies were much higher than MPs' salaries, which stood at MVR 42,000.

PNC MP for Vilimale' Mohamed Ismail concurred, stating that the perceived high expenditure on MPs was a misconception, as many in government institutions earned more. However, he supported the idea of capping the number of MPs.

Overall, while the proposal to reduce salaries was largely opposed, the initiative to limit the number of MPs found broader support among the parliamentarians.