Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Members of parliament in Georgia will not receive bonuses after 2013. The total amount of bonuses was over 2.5 million lari in 2012.

According to the Institute for development of freedom of information (IDFI), in 2012, MPs were given an additional 280 lari per month and double or triple salaries four times a year that was called bonuses.

The larges bonus-receiver in 2012 was David Bakradze, speaker of the parliament, with GEL31,650 (USD 19.072) Giorgi Tsereteli, MP from then ruling United National Movement party GEL27,450, (USD 16.541)  and Mikheil Machavariani, vice-speaker of the parliament also from the UNM with GEL27,280 (USD 16,438)

The Speaker of Parliament David Usupashvili explains that actually this was not bonuses.

“Every MP used to receive 16 salaries instead of 12 without any merit. Their income was 25% bigger than their official one and the bonus system helped to disguise it,” Usupashvili says in his statement that was published on March 8, 2013.

According to IDFI not only representatives of UNM were benefited, but MPs from oppositional parties too. Also, the ogrganization studied property declarations of 2010, 2011 and 2012 years and concluded that in 2012 salaries was much higher that in previous year.

Former defense minister Bacho Akhalaia, who is accused having spent more than 750 000 lari on illegal bonuses and weapons, said that the new government has allocated bonuses to themselves, which he never did.

Usupashvili said that in 2012, the government was compelled to use the already approved budget and bonus system, but after 2013, the system will be changed.

“We changed this distorted system. After January 2013, no bonuses are provided for MPs. There will be a fund for quarterly bonuses that will given only for merit,” Usupashvili says.