Many are not yet immune to the coronavirus, but the very high salaries of most politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) remained immune to savings even during the pandemic. It is not known that parliamentarians and/or ministers at any level of government have reduced their salaries.
There were official proposals to reduce salaries and many other benefits, but most were not accepted. In the meantime, authorities are calling for savings, but often to the detriment of someone or something, and that something is often existentially important.
At a session held on Wednesday, the deputies of the Assembly of the Canton Sarajevo (CS) discussed whether the money planned for infrastructure projects is well used primarily for the fight against the pandemic.
Some thought it was justified, while others thought it would weaken economic development. The proposal of the representative of the Alliance for a Better Future (SBB), Bilsena Sahman, for all deputies to give up quarterly salaries was rejected.
The deputys’ salary of the CS is more than 2.400 BAM, while the salary of the ministers is more than 2.800 BAM – show the data are from the Register of Employees in CS. The other parliamentary fees and the fact that some deputies are also employed in companies, enterprises, institutions were not considered in this data.
The same or a slightly different situation with the number of salaries and fees is in the lower and higher instances of government.
That not all politicians are the same was shown by the example of the deputy chairman of the Municipal Council of Centar Sarajevo, Benjamin Isovic from the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Ira Adilagic from Nasa stranka (NS). Many citizens were in disbelief that the two of them proposed to give up their 3.600 BAM salary. With these savings, the budget of the Municipality of Centar would be higher by 345.600 BAM in the next four years.
Stjepan Dujo, the mayor of Novi Travnik, reduced his salary and the salaries of municipal officials in this year’s budget. On the other hand, scholarships, maternity benefits, and subsidies for nursery schools have been increased.
At the beginning of the pandemic in the last year, the president of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Bakir Izetbegovic, demanded that two-thirds of his salary as a member of the leadership of the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliament be paid to the Muslim charity organization Merhamet.
His party colleague, a member of the Presidency of BiH, Sefik Dzaferovic, also donated two-thirds of his salary to charity at the beginning of the pandemic.
We can only imagine how much money would be saved from many parliamentarians, councilors, ministers, prime ministers, and mayors if they also showed solidarity with the citizens. At least at this time, which is the most difficult for Bosnians and Herzegovinians since the end of the last war.
Their high salaries, which are even more disputable due to the extremely difficult situation in the country, are a reminder that this country has money, but that it is being spent in the wrong way.
In the meantime, the prices of necessities are going wild, and the workers are working in difficult conditions for a salary that some of them do not know whether they will even receive. To recall, the union’s consumer basket amounts to more than two thousand BAM, and the average salary is slightly higher than 900 BAM. Also, it should not be forgotten that the average salary also includes the salary of those who work in the public sector, who are paid much better than those in the private sector.
The unemployed were left on their own. Many of those who lost their jobs in CS in the summer of last year waited for months for a compensation of 380 BAM, while deputies and ministers, not only in this canton, received their fabulous salaries, KLix.ba writes.