'Non-practice allowance' should be abolished asap

In Summary

• The Salaries and Remuneration Commission wants to abolish the 'non-practice allowance'.

• The allowance tops up public sector wages, primarily for doctors and judges, to match the private sector

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has proposed that the 'non-practice allowance' be abolished.

This decision will be unpopular in some quarters but it is the right one.

Primarily, 'non-practice allowance' is paid to doctors and judges to compensate them for the allegedly lower salaries of the public service compared to the private sector.

However, the SRC is working hard to crack down on excess allowances which comprise around 10 percent of the government wage bill. The SRC cannot afford to show favouritism.

Doctors and especially judges are already sufficiently well paid to attract them to the public sector. As the SRC points out, it is no longer so difficult to attract "scarce, rare and critical professional skills in the public service."

As the SRC points out, existing contractual agreements have to be respected until they expire. But the general principle should not be questioned – that the 'non-practice allowance' should be abolished as soon as possible.

The SRC has called for feedback on its proposal from the public, as per the Constitution. The proposal to abolish 'non-practice allowance' should receive unanimous public support.

Quote of the day: "Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."

George Washington
The first American President was born on February 22, 1732

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