SPLM-IO MPs snub budget’s third reading with walkout
Lawmakers representing the opposition SPLM-IO walked out of Parliament on Friday as the house started the third reading of this year's budget.
The move came after a disagreement over the amount of adjustments on salaries and wages of civil servants and organized forces.
Oyet Nathaniel, First Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chairman of the SPLM-IO told Radio Tamazuj that they walked out because ''they want a 600 percent increment for salaries of civil servants and organized forces.''
“We walkout over the increment of civil servants, military and members of organized forces where SPLM members want to retain the increment to 400 percent contrary to what Parliament adopted in the second reading stage,” Oyet said.
The SPLM-IO official further said 600 percent increment means that grade 17 workers in public service will now earn SSP 53,000 while 400 percent increment is SSP 11,200.
“We resolved in the second reading stage that the increment shall be at least by 600 percent so that a grade 17 worker in public service can get 53,000 SSP as opposed to 11,200 under the 400 percent increment where grade 1 special would get 231,000 SSP as opposed to 76,000 SSP as being proposed by the Ministry of Finance,” he explained.
According to the First Deputy Speaker, the SPLM-IO lawmakers walked out because they did not want to be part of the decision to pass the budget with 400 percent pay rise for civil servants and the military.
“We have walked out, let them do what they want but we are ready to resume parliament in the next meeting. We do not want to be part of the decision to pass the budget with only 400 percent, “he stressed.
For his part, Mahjoub Biel Turuk, Chief Whip of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) refuted the claims that members of SSOA boycotted the budget reading.
“Those who walked out of the parliament are not members of SSOA, those who walked out are only members of the SPLM-IO. We were consulted before the minister of finance appeals is presented,” Mahjoub said.
Earlier this week, the newly appointed minister of finance, Dr. Bak Barnaba, appealed to Parliament not to pass a 600 percent salary increment, saying it would not be realistic based on the available resources.