Wednesday, 14 April 2010 11:28 AM

Increase of Parliamentarians Salaries

Listening to SIBC current Affairs program on 12th April 2010, I was dumbfounded to hear the Chairman of the PEC justified the increase of Parliamentarian salaries with the number of people accommodated in the MPs houses and to make it par with the Public Officers recent salary increase. There are a few areas the Chairman PEC should have considered other than the number of people flooding in to MPs houses.

Firstly, Mr. Chairman, you have failed miserably to make a thorough analysis of the recommendation submission prior to your decision. Why do people flood into the MPs houses. I want him to answer these questions as follows:
1. People are flooding into the MPs houses because of the MPs promises, or come back tomorrow kind of technique.
2. The MPs when campaigning tell people, if I win and reside in Honiara, my house will be your home. This is a fact and it is a commitment made by the MP. To use the Public fund to foot the empty promises of MPs is pathetic and clear misappropriation of Public Funds.
3. Constituencies do not have appropriate mechanisms to which constituency funds can be chandelled to our rural people. If we have a mechanism in place that will make these constituents access funds in constituency or Provincial capitals I believe they will not be seen around the MPs compounds. Again whose responsibility is to design a mechanism to channel constituency funds? It is the MPs responsibility. It is their irresponsibility that drives people into their home and now squeezing the Public funds for their empty promises.
4. Your decision will add more pressure to MPs. Now that constituents know that MPs have more funds to feed them, more constituents will be coming. Similarly, now that some public Officers who accommodate some constituents who have been told to come back tomorrow will tell these people to go to MPs house because they have enough fund to feed them. I will be the first to do it this week.

Secondly, Mr.Tabusasi, you have invited the media to go to Parliamentarian homes to see for themselves. Please also advice them to visit the homes (houses) of the level 2 to SS levels of the Public officers. What will be your conclusion? Public officers including myself have been experiencing influx of constituents who have been told to come back tomorrow or next week, some even spend months.

Thirdly, you have justified to salary increase of MPs to make it par with the recent increase of Public Officers. Mr. Chairman, have you make your thorough investigation of different benefits the Politicians receive compared to Public Officers'? Politicians have many fringe benefits, or entitlements, travelling allowances, transport allowances, medical, entertainment, constituency touring allowances just to name a few. Whether these MPs tour their constituency is another question the media should ask the MPs. I believe more than 60% of Public Officers' salary is less than a thousand dollars. They foot their own electricity bill, water bills, and transport to and from work, buy food and to pay school fees. Did you compare all these before you conclude the PEC decision is justified?
Please do the right thing.

Long Live Solomon Islands!

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

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