News on Sunday

Members of Parliament: Are they worth taxpayer’s money

The Deputy Prime Minister, Xavier Luc Duval stated during a rally of his political party – the PMSD – on Sunday, that members of parliament should work for their money’s worth. How much does an MP earn? Their basic salary amounts to Rs 68,400 per month and with the added benefits, it comes to Rs 142,000. Which is far from small change for the taxpayer. Over and above their earnings, MPs are also entitled to work full-time on a different job. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15517","attributes":{"class":"media-image aligncenter wp-image-26085","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"761","height":"314","alt":"Allocation-and-Salaries"}}]]

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15518","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-26086 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"226","alt":"Raffick-Sorefan"}}]]Raffick Sorefan; “Work half days as dentist and remaining time as politician”

Raffick Sorefan, a dental surgeon, has been an MP since May 2010 having been re-elected in December 2014. He states that he has been a practising full-time dentist prior to 2010 before joining politics. Now, he is working part-time, having to juggle his professional, political and personal life. “I have time for everything. To become a dentist, you have to be trained, but politics is mostly self-taught. I started as Mayor of Quatre Bornes before making it to parliament,” he explains. The MP says he finds no problem in shuttling between both responsibilities. “I work as a dentist for half-day during six days of the week. My patients know my schedule and this does not create any issue. The remaining time, I meet inhabitants of my constituency and organise a regional team to work on various issues and listen to the plight of citizens. Sometimes, people come to meet me in my office. I also do some site visits,” he confides. He retired six years ago and has only been working half day. “I am not stressed and I am leading a happy life. It was not difficult for me to leave dentistry. It all happened quickly. Being a professional, I remain open minded. My ability to listen and learn has helped me a lot.”

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15519","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-26087 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"206","alt":"danielle-selvon"}}]]Danielle Selvon: “I actually solve a lot of problems”

Danielle Selvon was elected for the first time in December 2014. By profession, she is a lawyer but joined politics in 1988. “In my constituency, among my most faithful followers, there are dedicated men and women who organise meetings for me with people in various parts of the constituency. I employ a Constituency Clerk who helps me to look into the issues voters face. I actually solve a lot of problems. Most of the time, they cooperate with me to help solve problems of everyday life,” she avers. Her professional life does not clash with political responsibilities. “My professional duties are useful to serve the interests of voters, as I am often appearing in Court or before disciplinary committees to represent inhabitants of my constituency. I have helped a number of them to save their jobs,” she says. “However, I appear for clients in Court and take part in negotiations over major business and representing foreign investors, which allows me to actually help investment in the country. I am a dedicated and very active patriot,” she highlights.

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15520","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-26088 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"200","height":"187","alt":"Sanjeev-Teeluckdharry"}}]]Sanjeev Teeluckdharry: “Both jobs are full-time occupations”

Sanjeev Teeluckdharry, MP and Barrister, claims that both jobs are full-time occupations. “It is quite restrictive as I have little time to dedicate to my family and leisure. I have to make a lot of sacrifices,” says Sanjeev. He explains that the work of an MP implies proximity. “You have to be close to people. For example, I receive people from my constituency daily – at least 20 to 25 people – except on Parliamentary day.” “In addition, I even have to meet them at odd hours for emergencies. As a barrister, I have lots of homework to do. Things like return submissions and Court cases take much of my time. I often have to work at the office during weekends,” he explains. Sanjeev Teeluckdharry confides that he has colleagues supporting him on both sides. “Since I became an MP, I opened my Chambers and employed four juniors. They help me with court cases. I can thus delegate some of my responsibilities to them.” MP for constituency No. 5, the politician explains that people expect a lot from him. “It is the biggest and the most neglected constituency where there is the largest segment of poor people. I thus give my best to meet with the demands as an MP.”

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"15521","attributes":{"class":"media-image wp-image-26089 alignleft","typeof":"foaf:Image","style":"","width":"198","height":"198","alt":"Aadil-Ameer-Meea"}}]]Aadil Ameer Meea: “My professional activities have dwindled”

MP Aadil Ameer Meea has joined the MMM in 2009. Prior to politics, he was manager at Ernest & Young (EY) auditing firm. He resigned to join politics. “It was a risk that I took. I got elected in 2010 and again in 2014. My professional activities have dwindled. I dedicate most of my time to my constituency, attending social or cultural activities,” he says. Every day, people come to see him and the MP says he does his best to help them. Making politics his main activity was a difficult decision. “I consulted with my family to reach a decision. Some sacrifices had to be made. With time, my family also got used to it. It is obviously not a normal life. It is important to make adjustments. I usually come back home very late. During weekends, I have to attend functions and sometimes people come to visit me. Or, there might be emergencies like fires or floods. As an MP, you must be ready to attend such situations and try to help. An MP who is not present in his constituency is not a real, sincere one.”  
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