File image Colombian pesos bills In this way, the salary of congressmen would go from 43 million to 28 million pesos per month, which would represent an annual saving for the State of more than 100 billion pesos. Photo: REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez
Around 3 in the afternoon today, Tuesday August 22, the project will be discussed in the plenary session of the Senate of the Republic that seeks to reduce the salary regime of congressmen; The project tries to eliminate a premium for services that they receive for 15 million pesos per month.
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The project of Law 097 of 2022, promoted by the senator of the Green Alliance Jota Pe Hernández, has been controversial for some politicians, since they assure that the 43 million pesos they receive as salary have several reductions for tax matters.
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Congressmen currently earn a salary of 43 million pesos, while the minimum wage, together with all legal subsidies, is equivalent to $1,300,606 pesos, a difference in income that, according to Senator Jota Pe Hernández, is outrageous. The Alianza Verde politician said in an interview with the newspaper El Siglo:
“It is that to earn a little more than 1,200,000 pesos they have to work a whole month from sunrise to sunset. They are outraged that a congressman earns much more in a single day than an ordinary citizen earns in a whole month.”
Precisely the basic allocation of a congressman corresponds to 10 million pesos, together with 18 million assigned for representation and the 15 million pesos of a service premium.
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This afternoon the debate will take place in the Senate and if it continues on the right track, it would already be approved in two other debates. However, Hernández has pointed out how difficult its approval could be, after the intervention of more congressmen in the plenary vote.
“I thought it would be much easier. In the First Commission we managed to approve it unanimously, without much debate. But in plenary it was very difficult for me. They broke my quorum three times and on the fourth attempt the debate was held; however, there have been many voices against it. In the House of Representatives there are twice as many congressmen and there I feel that it will be much more difficult, ”said the senator from the Green Alliance to the aforementioned medium.
Precisely some congressmen have pointed out the mistake that would supposedly be made when carrying out this project that senators such as Piedad Córdoba have called ‘legislative populism’.
Regarding the senator of the Liberal Party, Karina Espinosa: “It seems that we were not doing anything here and, if we are not going to come here to do anything, well, they should take away our salaries from all of us, leave us in the regions and let us hold the debates on virtual form, and thus we dedicate ourselves to our activities. We have to know how much of our salary is going to remain and if it is useful for us to come or not”.
Although for high government sectors such as the Ministry of the Interior, Luis Fernando Velasco, with the salary gap, a message must be given between Colombian citizens and members of the Government, for which he suggested that this initiative should not be exclusive to congressmen but also to senior officials of the State.