Good reasons to look after politicians and take care of them

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "why do politicians need a pay hike?"
"Why, have they asked for one?" Bindu's father Percy wanted to know.
"I am not sure whether they have asked for one," Bindu said, "but they have been offered one…"
"Well, I am sure they also need a salary increase…" Percy said.
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"
"Why, didn't a minister tell us not so long ago that his driver earns more than him?" Percy recalled.
"The answer to that problem is simple…" Bindu said.
"Why do you say that, Bindu?" Percy asked.
"Well, the minister only has to resign and take up his driver's job…" Bindu suggested.
"And ask the driver to do the minister's job…"
"That will probably be better too…" Bindu agreed, "he may have a better sense of where he is heading..."
"I am not so sure about that," Percy said, "but these poor ministers and MPs must also be feeling the effects of the rising cost of living…"
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"
"Why, didn't fuel prices increase recently?" Percy observed.
"But thaaththa," Bindu argued, "all of them get free fuel…"
"Oh, I am sure that is not sufficient to cover the vast amount of travel they have to do in order to serve the public…" Percy protested.
"But thaaththa," Bindu said, "that alone is not a good enough reason to grant a pay hike to ministers and MPs, especially when others are not getting theirs…"
"No, no" Percy assured, "there are other reasons as well…"
"What other reasons, thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.
"Why, didn't they tell us this week that electricity rates are to be increased?" Percy queried.
"But thaaththa," Bindu pointed out, "most ministers and MPs live in official residences and they even took over Dearly Beloved's residence in Colombo to give it to that Keheliya fellow…"
"But, Bindu," Percy said, "it is unfair to say that the increase in the cost of living does not affect ministers and MPs and expect them to exist on a shoestring budget…"
"Why, thaaththa," Bindu said, "I thought they are in politics because they love the people and the country so much; that is what the posters said when they asked for our 'manaapey'…"
"But if we don't pay them well, they will have to resort to bribery and corruption to make ends meet…" Percy argued.
"Then," Bindu said, "it looks as if we haven't been paying them at all well in the recent past…"
"And that itself is one very good reason why we should look after our politicians and take good care of them…" Percy declared.
"But thaaththa," Bindu said, "there is another problem…"
"And what is that?" Percy asked.
"Mahinda maama has said it is not correct to give politicians a pay rise when he is unable to give one to other public servants and has therefore cancelled the politicians' salary increase…" Bindu said.
"What will happen now?" Percy wondered.
"Maybe all the politicians will stage a strike demanding higher salaries, like all these other people do…" Bindu proposed, "and they will say they will not get back to serving the people until their demands for a pay hike are granted..."
"Ah," Percy said, "that is one strike we could do with…"
Bindu didn't quite know what to say to that.


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