Chairman of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission, Waeta Ben Tabusasi has defended the 11% increase to the salaries of all members of Parliament, saying MP's have not received a raise in their salaries in the last few years.Speaking to SIBC News, Mr Tabusasi says the increases reflect an intention to bring parity between the basic salaries of MPs to that of public service - given that public servants received a 12.5% salary increase this year.
Mr Tabusasi also called on the media to visit the homes of members of Parliament to find out how many people they feed each day. He said at times, the pressure stemming from their constituents is "unbelievable."
He says he sometimes "feel sorry for some of the MPs and their families because the number of people who rely on them for food and accommodation is just too much."
The PEC Chairman said that despite the latest increase he still does not think "members of Parliament are able to support the number of visitors to their homes."
Mr Tabusasi has dismissed any suggestion that he is bias in his position on the matter, stating that the award is long overdue.