It seems that the proposal of the SaS party to abolish the right of MPs to have paid external offices in Bratislava has rocked the boat of other parties, which obviously aren’t doing too bad from this ‘perk’.
The SaS party came under fire recently because it planned to rent out offices to its MPs in a building owned by the party members, which it eventually sold off to the party for the sake of transparency. The SaS then proposed scrapping the possibility altogether of MPs being able to rent office space in Bratislava, as MPs are entitled to use up to EUR 900 a month to pay for an external office, in addition to the office allocated to them in Bratislava Castle.
Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party has been taking advantage of this right for years by renting out office space to its MPs at the party headquarters. Considering the fact that Smer-SD has 62 MPs in parliament, the loss of such an entitlement could prove rather costly (a maximum of 62×900 = EUR 55,800 per month).
This could be the reason why Robert Fico is not too happy about the proposal to abolish the office allowance for MPs, and why he has spoken out against the idea, attacking the SaS party into the bargain. “I refuse to comment on these deviant proposals that the SaS party keeps coming up with just so it can show itself as the nicest, the purest, the best, that they are above everyone”,“ said Fico at a press conference.
“We should stop attacking the the standard of public officials in this ridiculous way, because if things continue in this way there will be nobody at all, from the next generation, who will be interested in being part of the Slovak political system in terms of professional work. This is not a hobby”, retorted Fico.
Fico feels the only reason why SaS is coming out with such proposals is to draw attention to itself. He says the SaS party has been treating its involvement in parliament like one big party and that “we will not tolerate it. I will not allow myself to be insulted by people who, in my opinion, know nothing about how the National Council and the political system works”.
When it comes to saving public money, wouldn’t it be a more natural reaction to welcome the idea of scrapping second offices instead of reacting to it with such disgust?