Monday, 3 August 2009 8:06 AM

Members of Parliament Need to Show Leadership: SICCI

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SICCI, has called on members of parliament to show good leadership and to improve the country in terms of economic and social development.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on members of parliament to show good leadership and to improve the country in terms of economic and social development.

In a statement, the Chamber says MPs are elected to government in order to serve people who elected them.

It says what the public has witnessed time and time again is the absence of a motivation to develop the nation.

The Chamber says instead MPs are increasing their entitlements in the midst of a global recession and national budget crisis.

It says the Minister of Finance, one of the MPs on the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission gave a speech to members of the Chamber early this year on the seriousness of government's financial position.

Mr Rini told them the country is confronting worsening current account deficits and a slowing economy.

He told members of the Chamber that government spending was cut back by a 10 percent reservation on 2009 recurrent expenditure across all ministries.

The cut on government spending has since been increased to 35 percent.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says these actions have negative consequences, but seem reasonable taken in the context of a budget crisis and economic slowdown.

It says what does not seem reasonable is for MPs to increase their own entitlements, despite the fact they have already acknowledged a serious shortfall in government funds.

The Chamber says the subsequent passing of a bill by Parliament to increase the number of constituencies to 70 seem to show no concern at all for the intense public debate outside of Parliament.

It says there are more pressing issues to address than remote areas being made into separate constituencies.

The Chamber says government is not effectively managing the nation.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province