WINDHOEK: The National Assembly resumed here on Tuesday with Prime Minister (PM) Nahas Angula tabling the Presidential Remuneration and Other Benefits Bill.
The Bill is aimed at providing for the payment of remuneration and other benefits to the president and his spouse, in addition to providing for “incidental matters”.
It looks at remuneration payable to the President, which according to clause two of the Bill states that in terms of the Public Office Bearers Commission Act of 2005, remuneration and benefits of a person holding this office is fixed at a rate of 15 per cent above the remuneration and benefits currently payable to the Prime Minister.
The Bill also looks at a monthly allowance payable to the presidential spouse which is equal to the monthly remuneration payable to a deputy Permanent Secretary (PS) employed in the public service.
It further states that the amount of any remuneration, benefits and allowances paid to the President and his spouse, as well as the value of any benefit relating to medical aid received in terms of the Act, are exempted from income tax.
The PM motivated the Bill by stating that in a caring society, leaders address the welfare of their citizens before their own, adding that it is typical of President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“Principles of natural justice demand that it is now time to address the remuneration of the president after seven years,” he said.
Also on Tuesday, Angula tabled a Bill to amend the Former Presidents’ Pension and Other Benefits.
The amendment Bill for former Presidents would adjust the gratuity and housing benefits payable to former Presidents and their families.
Angula stated that a pension payment is one of the most important sources of income for most senior citizens. He added that is internationally accepted that a pension in a form of a gratuity should be paid to former presidents for each term served.
Another important aspect, the PM said, is that of residential accommodation for former Presidents.
In terms of clause two of the Former Presidents’ Pension and Other Benefits Bill, a former president has four options.
“The first option is a furnished official residence in Windhoek which will remain State property at all times,” Angula said.
The second option is the payment of a housing allowance determined by Cabinet, while the third option is that the State can acquire a private residence on the former President’s behalf.
The fourth option, the PM noted, is a payment by the State of an amount which is equal to the value of a private residence.
“This amendment Bill should not be viewed as an action intended to benefit an individual. This exercise is intended to promote transparency and good practices,” he said.