Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is under heavy criticism over his trip to Indonesia, with the Joint Civil Society Group, JCSG, describing it as “a waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Forum Solomon Islands International Chief Executive Officer, Mr Benjamin Afuga, allege documentary evidence obtained by the JCSG showed more than SBD$600,065 dollars being spent on airfare alone, and SBD$207,000 on ‘special imprest’ for food and accommodation.

The JCSG states that there needs to be greater transparency on the part of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in terms of the delegation that travelled with him.

“We are not convinced that the delegation size is justified…the extravagant spending for a large delegation cannot be justified especially with government's dire financial situation,” said Mr Afuga.

Prime Minister Lilo, in an earlier statement, says there is a need to look beyond the cost of the trip and focus on the economic gains the country could get if it strengthens its ties with Indonesia.