Bridge would rescind salaries for outgoing MPs

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Bridge party MP Ivan Kovacic said on Monday that the party had a bill ready to rescind some entitlements of members of parliament, including receiving a salary over the year after the end of their term in office, but it is uncertain if the bill will be supported by a majority of MPs.

The chairs of the parliamentary groups of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are still unwilling to take a position on the motion. According to unofficial reports, the question is if the motion is constitutional as it would divide MPs into two categories.

Kovacic told reporters the bill was drawn up, that it would be submitted at parliament’s first session, and that it was only the first step in reducing MPs’ entitlements.

Speaker Zeljko Reiner would not comment on the announcement of such a bill, saying it would be discussed when submitted. The chair of the SDP parliamentary group, Igor Dragovan, gave a similar answer.

Pedja Grbin of the SDP said that rescinding the entitlement to a salary for one year after the end of a term in office would cause problems to many MPs who could not return to their previous jobs because the Conflict of Interest Act prevented them from doing so.

Most of the other MPs interviewed by Hina are not in favour of such a bill, saying it would discourage everyone from the real sector from running for parliament because for one year after the end of their term in office they would not be able to resume executive positions in their own companies. They also wonder if such a bill would be upheld by the Constitutional Court, which in 2014 in part struck down one of the first promises of the outgoing government – to rescind privileged pensions for MPs and other elected officials.

(Hina) ha

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