Written by The Jordan Times Friday, 06 April 2012 22:44
A joint Senate panel comprising members of the legal affairs and financial and economic affairs committees on Thursday suggested that only deputies and senators who have at least ten years of service as members of Parliament are entitled to life pensions.
The panel was discussing the 2010 amendments to the Civil Retirement Law, which were rejected by the Lower House late last year because the amended law stipulated that parliamentarians are not entitled to retirement payments, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The House made changes to the law, adding a controversial provision to grant incumbent and former members of the two Houses pension salaries for life, regardless of the period of their service.
During the meeting, headed by Senate President Taher Masri, the joint committee revisited Article 7 of the legislation to stipulate that members of the two Houses of Parliament are to be given lifetime pensions depending on the length of their services, setting 10 years as the minimum actual service as lawmakers.
In addition, the panel recommended that the government come up with a law that ensures justice and equality among ministers and Parliament members in terms of pensions, Petra reported.
In December last year, the Lower House rejected the 2010 amendments to the Civil Retirement Law made by the government of former prime minister Samir Rifai.
Under the proposed law, members of both Houses were not to be given lifetime pensions, but MPs insisted instead on reinstating the 1999 amendments to the 1959 legislation, which granted MPs and senators pensions for life without counting duration of service as a condition.
Earlier this week, the Senate Legal Affairs Committee rejected the Lower House’s controversial amendments to the 2012 Passports Law.
The panel rejected deputies’ amendments to Article 9 of the 2012 Passports Law, under which Royal family members, as well as serving and former premiers, ministers, Royal Court chiefs, King’s advisers, senators, MPs and chief Islamic justices are to be given permanent diplomatic passports.
The MPs’ decision to give themselves and their predecessors permanent diplomatic passports had triggered public anger over the past week, with several people criticising deputies for busying themselves with obtaining personal gains at the expense of citizens and the country.
Also this week, several deputies threatened to effectively paralyse the Lower House by boycotting sessions and preventing them from proceeding due to lack of quorum if the Senate does not approve giving parliamentarians lifetime pensions.
A deputy, who preferred to remain unnamed, told The Jordan Times previously that 15 to 20 MPs plan to boycott House sessions if the Senate refuses to endorse the 1999 amendments to the Civil Retirement Law, under which Parliament members are to be given lifetime pensions.