Ruling party to enforce no-work, no-pay rule
By Kim Susan Se-jeong
The ruling Saenuri Party has decided to enforce a “no-work, no-pay” system this month, under which lawmakers will have portions of their salary deducted after periods of inactivity when parliament is closed due to delayed openings or suspensions.
The move is part of the ruling party’s push of six reforms concerning the privileges and benefits given to lawmakers.
“There is a report that we are not going to implement the no-work, no-pay system, but that will not be the case,” said Rep. Lee Hahn-koo, floor leader of the majority party, at a Supreme Council meeting Thursday.
The National Assembly was due to begin on May 30. However, it has still not formally opened due to a standoff between the ruling and opposition parties.
Lee added that the system will be put into practice despite a portion of Saenuri lawmakers who are against it being implemented, arguing that it is “too harsh.” He stated that it will be carried out as a majority actively supports the idea.
Lee explained that the exact number of days for which lawmakers will have salary deducted still needs to be calculated. He stated that they still need some preparation time before doing this because it depends on when the National Assembly opens for business. However, he added that the no-work, no-pay system will be calculated and implemented by June 30. This means lawmakers will not be paid for the month of June, because of the assembly’s failure to start as scheduled.
“If we do draw up specific measures before June 20, payday, we are looking to entrust the party’s leadership with our salaries,” said Rep. Lee Jin-bok, who heads the party’s no-work, no-pay task force. The money may be donated to charities, or used for social welfare programs.
He also stated that the team will hold its first meeting soon to discuss details, saying that a concrete plan of action will be made based on the results of a public survey.
Lee also disclosed the results of a public opinion poll, which asked 13,362 members of the public to choose the two most needed reforms out of six. The survey was carried out from June 7 to 8 via cell phone texts.
From 1,559 replies, the no-work, no-pay system was the most frequently mentioned with 593 votes. Following this, there were 590 votes for reforming retirement pensions, 483 for strengthening punishments for lawmakers who commit acts of violence, 415 for abolishing lawmakers’ immunity from arrest, 356 for banning lawmakers from having other sources of income and 158 for strengthening the ethics committee.