Liberian President Slashes Salary in Gesture of Fiscal Responsibility

Liberian President Joseph Boakai has announced a 40% reduction in his annual salary, cutting it from $13,400 to $8,000. This move aims to set an example of responsible governance and show solidarity with citizens facing economic hardships. With one in five Liberians living on less than $2 a day, government salaries have come under intense scrutiny amid rising living costs.

While some praise Boakai’s decision, others question its impact given his additional benefits like daily allowances and medical coverage. The presidential office’s budget remains substantial at nearly $3 million annually. Transparency advocates welcome the salary cut but emphasize the need for clarity on how the saved funds will benefit the public.

Boakai’s action follows his predecessor’s 25% salary reduction and aligns with campaign promises to tackle corruption and financial mismanagement. Since taking office in January, he has declared his assets, ordered an audit of the presidential office, and strengthened anti-corruption agencies.

The president has also pledged to ensure fair compensation for civil servants. This commitment comes as lawmakers recently protested the lack of official vehicles by arriving at parliament in tuk-tuks, a common transport mode for ordinary Liberians.

As Liberia grapples with economic challenges, Boakai’s salary cut symbolizes a broader effort to address financial disparities and restore public trust in government institutions. The effectiveness of this gesture in driving meaningful change remains to be seen.