While all income earners in the country are subjected to the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax from a tax threshold of Rs 100,000, it is revealed that parliamentarians have enjoyed a tax relief.
Although a MP has been slapped with a PAYE tax of Rs. 72,000 – Rs. 75,000 in January this year, the amount has been drastically slashed to Rs. 15,000 in February.
Also, it is singular that out of the PAYE taxe imposed in January, a sum of Rs. 55,000 has been reimbursed to them in March.
Although it is stated that a Member of Parliament gets Rs.54,000, they are granted several allowances.
These allowances include Rs.50,000 as telephone allowance, Rs.100,000 for maintaining an office, Rs.170,000 as fuel allowance, Rs. 15,000 as transport allowance, Rs. 1,000 as entertainment allowance and Rs.2,500 for each sitting attended.
Accordingly, the income (inclusive of all allowances) of a Parliamentarian is around Rs. 450,000. However, this may slightly vary according to the number of parliamentary sessions attended by the respective MP.
It is also singular that two allowances are granted with regard to transportation (transport and fuel).
They are also granted lunch at Parliament for Rs. 400.
The PAYE tax with its threshold of Rs. 100,000 has led to public uproar and a string of protests. However, the MPs who had passed the very taxation system, had silently amended their own taxes while the public continued to struggle amid high taxes and skyrocketing Cost of Life.
Although much of the protests held in this regard are organised by trade unions affiliated to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the 03 JVPs as well as other opposition MPs too had remained silent so far.