Minister responds to flak on source of police pay
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Finance Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said that police do not spend all revenues collected from traffic fines on their own pay, at least not as much as critics allege.
Traffic police officers handle a traffic violation case on National Highway 1A in Binh Tan District, HCMC Photo: Tuoi Tre
In his written statement, Hue was responding to questions, also written, by a politician who wondered why 70 percent of those revenues were used to supplement officer salaries.
National Assembly deputy in Ho Chi Minh City Huynh Minh Thien told Tuoi Tre that “the public does not agree with using part of the penalty amount as support for traffic police officers on duty.”
But Hue said much of that 70 percent went toward other expenses, such as support for wounded officers or the families of officers who died on the job. Specifically, he said local transport inspection agencies used 10 percent of that money to regulate traffic, while traffic safety boards in centrally-run cities and provinces received another 10 percent. The funds also contributed to safety propaganda.
Nationally, police collected VND2.5 trillion (US$119.5 million) from traffic violators last year, Hue said.
Still, Thien expressed dissatisfaction with the response, saying in an interview that the state already pays officers sufficient salaries, overtime pay, and reimbursements for expenses.
People ask “why they are entitled to enjoy more support from the penalty amount?” Thien said. “If there is a need to give more support to traffic police officers, such support should be sourced from the state budget, not from a portion deducted from the penalty amount.”
Hue said that the 70 percent figure was in line with provisions in his ministry’s Circular 89/2007, which guides the collection, management, and use of traffic penalty revenues.