Lots of taxpayer money for legislators

To sweeten Congressional approval of the 2006 budget, the Presidency is including a 50.7% increase in the budget assigned to the legislators themselves. The increases will go towards per diems, attire, fuel, insurance, and advertising, administrative expenditures and other approved expenses. Clave Digital points out that percentage-wise, the increase is much higher than the amount approved for the Education and Public Health ministries. The budget allocated to the senators and deputies reaches RD$3.68 billion, or RD$1.24 billion higher than in 2005. The legislators will receive more money than the ministries of Environment, Sports, Foreign Relations, Higher Education, Labor, Culture, and many others. Clave Digital points out that the funds will come from the general fund, which means that legislators’ spending is funded directly by taxpayer money.