MPs will travel for less money starting August

Starting next month, the MPs coming from other towns will begin to receive 33 percent less travel allowances from their place of residence to Skopje and vice versa. The travel expenses yesterday were definitely reduced, with the adoption of the amendments to the Law on Representatives at the current plenary session of the Assembly.

With legal changes, instead of the 30 percent up to a mile per kilometer from the sale price of one liter of fuel, MPs will receive a fee of up to 20 percent per kilometer from the sale price of one liter of fuel for the vehicle being used. An amendment to the Political System Commission has been adopted by which MPs living more than 100 km away from the Parliament are left with the possibility of renting an apartment with the right to compensation for only four trips per month from and to their place of residence in order to contact their voters.

The legislative changes, which were proposed several months ago, were adopted yesterday with consensus of all parliamentary groups. With 79 votes in favor and no one against or abstention, the Parliament adopted the law proposed by the SDSM parliamentary group after years of loud public reactions on each published information about the high sums paid from the state budget for this purpose. The law will enter into force eight days after its publication in the “Official Gazette”, which would mean during August 2018.

The estimates in parliament are that, this way, the outflow of funds from the budget will be significantly reduced to meet the travel costs of the elected people. Thus, for example, a MP from Strumica, who will travel 320 kilometers a day to Skopje and back, now, instead of about 7,200 denars, will receive an allowance of about 4,800 denars. Or a MP who lives 100 kilometers away from the capital, will now receive an allowance of 3,000 denars for the trip to parliament and in the opposite direction, which is about 1,500 denars less than the amount he/she now receives.

According to the Law on Members of Parliament, that is, Article 31 which is now being changed, the MP, in addition to the regular monthly income amounting not less than 80 thousand denars (depending on whether he or she is managing a commission or coordinator of a parliamentary group), has the right to other personal incomes and on cost charges. The Member of Parliament has the right to compensation for: moving from the place of permanent residence to the place where he or she is acting as a Member of Parliament; vocational education and training; burial expenses in the amount of the average of the last two salaries of the deceased MP; daily allowance for a business trip in the country, with no overnight accommodation of up to 4 per cent of the average salary per worker paid in the economy of Macedonia in the previous three months; overnights that are recognized according to the attached account, except in hotels categorized as deluxe; daily allowance for a business trip abroad; compensation for separated life of the family, which is 30 percent of the average salary in the country; retirement severance pay in the amount of two average monthly salaries in the previous three months. This time it is only intervened in the article that regulates the travel allowances for using cars in personal ownership for official purposes.