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Latino Daily News

Tuesday August 12, 2014

Mexican Congress Approve Large ‘Bonus’ for Its Members

The lower house of Mexico’s Congress plans to pay each of its 500 members a “performance bonus” of 1 million pesos ($76,000), Congressman Ricardo Monreal said Tuesday.

“This is abusive” because “the country cannot withstand so much corruption,” Monreal, a member of the leftist Citizens Movement, told MVS radio.

The bonus proposal was presented on Aug. 7 to the lower house’s Administration Committee, Monreal said.

The budget drafted by the Programming, Budget and Accounting Administration calls for a 30 percent increase in the Chamber of Deputies’ budget, which would rise from 6.79 billion pesos in 2014 to 8.82 billion pesos in 2015.

The document calls for spending increases in several areas, such as human resources, but “the most serious, the most delicate, the most immoral, the most irregular thing” is the proposal for a “performance bonus” of 500 million pesos ($38 million), or 1 million pesos per lawmaker, Monreal said.

Chamber of Deputies members, who serve three-year terms, have approved a series of reforms proposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto for the education, telecom, finance and energy sectors.

“Corruption continues to be prevalent in the country in a big way,” Monreal said, adding that it was time to “say enough!”

Corruption takes a bite of between 2 percent and 8 percent out of Mexico’s gross domestic product, watchdog group Transparencia Mexicana said.

The conservative National Action Party, meanwhile, said it would announce on Wednesday the penalties to be imposed on lawmakers shown partying with young scantily dressed women in a video broadcast by various media outlets.

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