In an unprecedented move to save cost, Italians have voted to reduce the strength of the country’s legislature by one-third.
Almost 70 percent of Italian voted in favour of the move in a referendum which followed an earlier decision by the parliament.
The move will reduce the number of parliamentarians from 945 to 600; with senators coming down to 200 from 311 and members of the lower chamber of parliament reducing from 634 to 400.
With each member of the lower chamber of parliament and senator earning €230,000 and €249,600 respectively annually, the reduction in number is expected to save Italy about €82 million every year.
Five Star Movement, FSM, the main party in Italy’s governing coalition, had said the measure will save an estimated €1 billion over 10 years.
Italy’s Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, reportedly described the outcome of the referendum as “historic.”
He said, “The one achieved today is a historic result. Let’s go back to having a normal parliament, with 345 seats and fewer privileges. It is politics that gives citizens a signal.”
The vote comes amid the clamour for Nigeria’s federal lawmakers to introduce cost-saving measures either by reducing their pay or number.
Despite being the country with the highest rate of extreme poverty globally, a senator reportedly earns as much as N13.5 million as running cost monthly, while a member of the House of Representatives is said to earn N12 million monthly.
Among those calling for such cost-cutting measures is the senator representing Imo West senatorial district, Rochas Okorocha, who once argued that Nigeria does not need 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Rrepresentatives.
Okorocha had said, “What are three senators doing that one senator cannot do? Here, we have three senators per state. Over there (House of Representatives), we have 360 eligible human beings. This country must begin to make sacrifices and cut down the cost of governance.”