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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

LAWMAKER RAISES CONCERNS OVER GOVERNMENT’S DE-HARMONIZATION PLAN FOR CIVIL SERVANTS

Date:

MONROVIA, LIBERIA – During the 1st extraordinary Day sitting of the 1st Session of the House of Representatives of the 55th Legislature, Bong County District#5 Representative, Eugene J.M. Kollie, expressed his concerns over the Unity Party-led Government’s de-Harmonization Plan for Civil Servants. In a letter addressed to House Speaker J. Fonati Koffa, Rep. Kollie requested the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to provide answers regarding the government’s intention to undo the harmonization policy implemented by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led Government.

The harmonization policy, introduced by the CDC government, aimed to improve the paychecks of civil servants who had been previously humiliated under the George Weah administration’s humanization policy. During his campaign, candidate Joseph Boakai pledged to prioritize the well-being of civil servants by increasing their take-home pay. However, it appears that after winning the presidency, Boakai and his government have neglected the very civil servants they promised to support.

Instead of fulfilling their promise to improve civil servants’ salaries, the Boakai regime has initiated a process to remove a significant number of civil servants from the payroll, citing financial constraints as the reason. This has raised questions about how the CDC government, under President Weah, managed to fund the payroll and supplementary salaries, even during challenging times, while Boakai and his government seem unable to do the same. The first proposed national budget under the Boakai administration did not allocate any funds for civil servants’ salaries, despite plans to lay off over 30,000 civil servants deemed surplus.

Rep. Kollie emphasized that the government should prioritize the welfare and benefits of civil servants, especially considering the current draft fiscal budget. He called for transparency regarding the de-Harmonization Plan and requested the appearance of the Minister of Finance before the House’s Committee on Lands, Mines, Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment to address the concerns raised by civil servants. The lawmaker stressed that the welfare of government workers, particularly civil servants, should be a matter of great concern to lawmakers as they directly represent the people across the country.

The specific emphasis was placed on health workers, which Rep. Kollie described as a national concern. Following the reading of the communication, a motion was put forward to forward the letter to the House’s joint committee on Ways, Means and Finance, as well as Public Accounts and Expenditures, to promptly address the issue, considering the ongoing scrutiny of the 2024 draft fiscal budget.

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