Morena Claims Austerity but Enjoys Position Benefits
By KELIN DILLON
Despite demands from Mexico’s in-power National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the party of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and current majority in the congressional lower house, that it put an end to apparent “privileges” by the autonomous organization the National Electoral Institute (INE), Morena members serving in the Chamber of Deputies have still been enjoying the major economic benefits that come with their post, maintaining the same privileges put in place during previous administrations.
Morenista and Chamber of Deputies President Sergio Gutiérrez Luna previously asked the INE to put an “end to its privileges” and reconfigure its budget, despite an inherent lack of necessary resources to properly carry out the mandate revocation consultation as ordered by the Mexican Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Gutiérrez Luna and his fellow Morena members had voted for 5.07 billion pesos – more than one billion pesos higher than the consultation is anticipated to cost – to be apportioned for the Chamber of Deputies’ “Personal Services,” with another 1.6 billion pesos designated for transfers, allocations and subsidies to parliamentary groups and support for deputies.
Given Morena’s lower house majority, the 202 Morena members in the Chamber of Deputies will have 374 million pesos of direct subsidies in 2022, without any apparent transparency surrounding their designated use, and the body has similarly prevented the Superior Audit Office of the Federation from reviewing Morena’s spending.
In contrast to its request from the INE, the Morena-led Chamber of Deputies has likewise retained the salaries from previous administrations for its highest-ranked officials that eclipse a 100,000-peso threshold per month, and Morena has similarly stacked its officials throughout the bureaucracy in a much more concentrated manner than previously in-power parties.
Gutiérrez Luna also went on to criticize INE councilors’ 262,000-peso salaries and 350,000-peso bonuses, while he and his fellow Morena deputies earn approximately 234,000 pesos per month and benefit from nearly 210,000 in equivalent bonuses and tax breaks.