Monday, 13 July 2009 1:22 PM

Terminal Grant for Spouses of MPs

Dear Sir,
Interesting reading the contribution from Kulekana E of Honiara on the granting of terminal grants to spouses of MPs.

Just to correct Mr. Kulekana, MPs do not decide on matters such as this. Terms and Conditions of MPs which include salaries, pension rates and terminal grants are set by an independent body known as the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission [PEC].

PEC was established by an Act of Parliament.

The way it works is that the Commission receives submissions on any issues relating to MPs' terms and conditions. Usually these submissions go via the House Committee, which either endorses or rejects.

Endorsement by the House Committee does not necessarily mean the submission gets automatic approval by the PEC. It doesn't.

On the question of terminal grant for spouses of MPs, I believe it is well over due.

Spouses of MPs work just as hard as their husband MPs are. Up to now, however, their contributions have largely been ignored.

I believe spouses earn the terminal grant.

Unlike the recent decision by the government in giving away $84 million to Our Telekom over the next nine years, the PEC decision to award spouses $50, 000 apiece at the end of four years is a very good decision.

In this regard, I would like to congratulate my friend Danny Philip as Chairman and his Committee on this achievement.

It's well overdue. On that note, I would urge PEC to consider the fate of former one term MPs.

Regardless of how we as a nation judge their performance, they have contributed in their own way to our nation building. It is only fair that they too be given recognition even if in a one off payment.

This is a loophole that has now been adequately addressed by PEC for the current MPs.

For example, MPs in the current House now have their terminal grants increased by 100 per cent.

For the first time, one termer MPs are now qualified for pension even if they lost the 2010 national general election.

Alfred

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Alfred Sasako and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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