Pakistani parliamentarians’ perks criticised

June 11th, 2012 - 12:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, June 11 (IANS) A proposal for a 100 percent increase in travel allowance of Pakistani parliamentarians has been criticised by a daily since it comes at a time when “deprivation and desperation is visible everywhere”.

An editorial in the News International Monday said that today, most people in the country are struggling to make ends meet.

“Many work two or even more jobs in a day. Without such labour it is becoming impossible to pay bills, send children to school or meet the basic essentials of life. For the unemployed whose number is rising steadily, things are even harder and many of them have chosen to illustrate their misery through suicides.”

“Deprivation and desperation is visible everywhere,” it said.

The daily added that despite this, there are some who have it really good.

The Senate Committee on Finance has proposed a 100 percent increase in the travel allowance of all parliamentarians, including a jump in road-travel perks from Rs.5 to Rs.30 per km. The proposal will now be sent to the National Assembly for approval.

“We can only wonder at the thinking of those who are so ready to eat into scarce resources and care nothing about the people they represent. Increases in salaries and other allowances for MPs has been a consistent pattern. Some things, it appears, never change,” the editorial said.

It went on to say that there is “little visible evidence of any desire to put in place the austerity we so badly need if we are to spare our people the misery they suffer”.

“…We cannot afford this self-indulgence when so much else needs to be done and deserves priority,” it added.

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