Thursday March 14, 2013
Cuepacs determined to get increments by year end to meet rising cost of living
By VANES DEVINDRAN
KUCHING: Cuepacs is determined to get an increment in the Federal Territory incentives allowance (FTA), regional allowance and housing allowance by the end of this year.
Though elated over the initiatives for the civil service, Cuepacs said a review of these allowances was vital given the rising cost of living.
Cuepacs secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said it was seeking an increase of 15% to 10% (with those at the lower end of the salary scale receiving a higher percentage) in the FTA and the Regional Allowances.
As for the housing allowance, she said it was necessary for the Government to have an overall review as the rates were based on today’s cost of living. The amount received for housing depends on the salary of each civil servant. It ranges from RM180 to RM700.
The FTA is given to those from the peninsula who are posted to Sabah and Sarawak and is usually paid in a lump sum.
The regional allowance takes into account the need to travel and relocate within a state.
Cuepacs hoped the Government would review these three allowances the soonest possible to help ease the burden of civil servants, said Lok.
“Housing is a headache for civil servants because of the escalating house prices. We can hardly afford to own a house. Minus the car loans, daily expenditure, children school fees and what not, at the end of the day a civil servant won’t have enough to pay for a house,” she lamented.
She said rental alone was a burden.
Citing Bintulu as an example, she said the rental there were tremendously high.
Lok and her group are in the state to brief the Sarawak branch on the initiatives announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on March 11.
She added that Cuepacs had also met with the Public Service Department to clarify certain issues.