Friday, 24 July 2009 3:59 PM

Independence of PEC

Dear Editor

I also wish to support the call by TSI for an independent PEC. The body as it is tainted by party affiliation and cronyism.

If I may draw the attention of the Times reader for a second. The decision to award spouses and wifes $50000 as terminal grant is but a tip of the ice berg. The changes that the PEC had agreed on to the terms of Members of Parliament is mind-boggling. I must thank Beliga Faikera for bringing it to the attention of the Solomon Islands public through the other Solomon Island online publication, and I am bring his outlines of the changes here so that Times readers can also make their views known on PEC's hideous decision.

The changes made by PEC to the members entitlement are as follows:

Reg. 9: Constituency Touring Allowance provides for the drawing of a sum not exceeding $150,000 per annum. Increase from $16,000.00 per annum.
Reg. 10(4): Relocation allowance of $200 increased to $300;
Reg.11C(1): Pension Scheme for members serving 8 years or more, increasing pension from 30% to 50% of salary;
Reg. 11C(2): Pension Scheme for member serving 12 years or more increasing pension from 40% to 60% of salary;
Reg. 11C(3): Pension Scheme increasing pension from 45% to 65% of salary;
Reg. 11C(4): Pension Scheme for member serving 16 years or more increasing pension from 50% to 70% of salary;
Reg. 11E(1): New regulation relating to Prime Minister provides for a 'Life Pension', rate of 60% of current salary, widow entitled to 40% of current salary even if remarried;
Reg. 11(6): New regulation: Prime Minister's pension paid out of Consolidated Fund, tax free and paid fortnightly;
Reg. 11(8): New regulation: As Prime Minister prefers govt to either (a) acquire reasonable land and construct reasonable house and pay for utilities or (b) if to reside in private residence, Prime Minister entitled to utilities and tax free monthly rental equivalent to a Minister.
Reg. 11(9): New regulation: On retirement, Prime Minister to be provided with official vehicle.
Reg. 11(10): New regulation: On retirement, Prime Minister entitled to medical treatments as prescribed for Members.
Reg. 11(11): New regulation: Prime Minister entitled to business class travel, subsistence allowance when undertaking assignments on behalf of SIG.
Reg. 13(1): Ex-Gratia now increased from $50,000 to $100,000;
Reg. 18(1): Ex-Gratia payment increased from $25,000 to $100,000 and payable for each consecutive term;
Reg. 18(2): Ex-Gratia payment payable at the end of each term of Parliament but now, only when Member not re-elected into Parliament. This means the amount will accumulate;
Reg. 35(7): New regulation giving Members of Standing Select and Special Select Committees subsistence allowance and rental supplementation as per reg. 10(4) and 35(2), when Committee in session.
Reg. 42(4): Payment of Government vehicle must be done within 30 days upon approval;
Reg. 42(7): Transport allowance for specific officers, increased from $3000 to $7000;
Reg. 42(8): Transport allowance for Member garaging vehicle, increased from $3000 to $6000;

In making these changes, I wonder whether the PEc was confused about which country they are living in - Solomon Islands or USA!

Charlie

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

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