House denies receiving Rp 168m a year for phone bills

Padang ekspres.net-House deputy speaker Anis Matta denied on Wednesday allegations that legislators have been receiving Rp 168 million (US$19,656) in phone credit allowances every year and another Rp 102 million during five recess sessions.

He said phone credit allowances for House members were not that much.

The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (FITRA) released its latest report that showed that every legislator at the House of Representatives receives Rp 14 million in phone credit every month. They also receive Rp 20 million in communication allowances during every recess session.

“Not that much. Not even half,” Anis said as quoted by kompas.com.

He also said that FITRA might have meant to report the House's budget for lawmakers' political communications allowances and not their phone credit allowances.

Golkar Party legislator Basuki T Purnama said he had never received such an amount. He said he received Rp 7 to 8 million every month for political communications.

National Mandate Party (PAN) faction secretary Teguh Juwarno said he had not paid much attention to how much he received every month because the money always went straight into his bank account.

“Look, I'm trying to find out if [FITRA's data] is correct or not because [lawmakers] don’t feel like [they have been receiving that much]. But I don't want to be pretentious. I don't know what the actual number for communication allowances is ... but I'm not sure it's that much,” he said.

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