Thursday, 1 November 2007 2:25 PM

Govt Pays Allowance for Wives Trip to Taiwan

A government source has revealed that the traveling allowances of the 13 wives of Government Ministers and MPs traveling to Taiwan were paid for by the Government.

The source revealed that each was paid US$120 per day, or SBD$ 2143.5O, for the one week trip, a normal allowance paid to public officials traveling overseas.

A concerned government official stated that "the women are not entitled to the payment under the financial laws of the country because they are not public servants."

"This is pure abuse of public funds and responsible authorities must honestly investigate the matter," said the government insider, who wished to remain anonymous.

"Calculating the cost in Solomon Dollars, the Government is actually spending more then SBD$170,000 dollars in allowances for the women," said the concerned government officer.

The government insider said this amount could be better spent on medical supplies to remote islands like Tikopia or Ontong Java whose people are facing severe medical supply problems.

The Taiwan Embassy earlier confirmed that the Taiwan Government is paying for airfares, accommodation and food for the women plus a small allowance.

The women led by the wife of Prime Minister Sogavare are expected to return next weekend.