The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Senate Wants Salary Cut For All Branches

Several senators have frowned on the decision by the Executive Branch of Government through the Ministry of Finance to exclude the Judiciary Branch from the proposed salary harmonization or salary-cut scheme. The senators made the interrogations on Thursday during a public hearing for Finance Minister, Samuel Tweah on the issue of ‘Salary Harmonization’ in the Chamber of the Liberian Senate.
Sinoe County, Senator J. Milton Teahjay leading the debate, sought clarity as to why the Minister of Finance, Development Planning did not include the Judicial Branch of Government.
Senator Teahjay stated he and colleagues observed that in the proposed harmonization document before the Legislature, the Judiciary Branch which is part of the three branches of government was omitted from the proposed salary cut scheme when in fact the decision by the Executive is intended to salvage the government fading economic.
The Sinoe County Senator asserted that officials of government including the President and the Vice president are public servants and as such, if there is an issue to be undertaken by the government with an intent to revive the economy, it must be inclusive because everyone of the them are all public servants.
In response, Minister Tweah said such decision was above his limit thereby citing Article 72 (a &b) and stated that this Article of the 1986 Constitution which was enacted by the same Legislature excludes the Judiciary from paying taxes as well as its members salary being diminished by the Executive Branch; a situation he said he is not willing to circumvent.
Article 72a states; “A Justice of the Supreme Court and all other judges shall receive such salaries, allowances and benefits as shall be established by law. Such salaries shall be subject to taxes as defined by law, provided that they shall not otherwise be diminished. Allowances and benefits paid to Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts may by law be increased but may not be diminished except under a national program enacted by the Legislature; nor shall such allowance and benefits be subject to taxation.”
While B states, “The Chief Justice and the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court and judges of subordinate courts of record shall be retired at the age of seventy; provided, however, that a justice of judge who has attained that age may continue in office for as long as may be necessary to enable him to render judgment or perform any other judicial duty in regard to proceedings entertained by him before the attained that age.”

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