The Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, in response to the Oppositions claim, says the Government must spend money to earn money.The Opposition claims that the recent trip by the Prime Minister and his delegation to Palau and Brussels had cost taxpayers $4m.
But Dr Sikua says the trip did not cost 4-million dollars as claimed. He says the Opposition had probably asserted that the $4m had been the total cost the Government had to pay to send his delegation to Palau and Brussels as well as the delegation from the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Ministry of National Planning and Aid Co-ordination to take part in the political dialogue between the European Union and Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Sikua says the total cost for his trips to Palau and Brussels cost $1.2m, while the delegations from the Ministry Finance and Treasury and the Ministry of National Planning and Aid Co-ordination cost over $390,000 and over $608,000 respectively. Therefore the total expenses, he says stand at not more than $2.25m.
Prime Minister Sikua says considering the success of the trip to Palau where Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) discussed methods to ensure members including Solomon Islands get the maximum benefit from their tuna resources, the cost was minimal.
And the acceptance by the European Union to provide budget support for Solomon Islands worth 179-million dollars proved the trip was worth taking.
Source: Prime Minister's Office