Allowances soon for MPs
Members of Parliament will soon have their allowances increased. This came after the proposal to increase their allowances was passed in Parliament yesterday. 39 voted in favour of the motion, while two were against it and nine didn’t vote. However, National Federation Party leader, Biman Prasad said in Parliament that an independent committee called in to review the increase in allowance. He said they had jointly written with the Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa to Parliament Secretariat which retreated the need for the committee to engage independent organisations to review the emoluments. Mr Prasad said an independent and transparent process was needed to determine their salaries. “We have been asked to approve the report and support the motion that means increase in emoluments and then one week later our citizens can have full access to the report, this is not right.” He said it would serve them well in the future for an independent organisation to consider appropriate levels of remuneration and allowances which was not a difficult process. Government MP, Jone Usamate said it was important for us to realise that one of the most important officers in any land was the role undertaken by Members of Parliament.
“The role that they have to fulfil and drive the future of any country, that role is one of the most important roles in any country by establishing laws and carrying out legislative functions,” he said. Member of Parliament had their allowance increased from $80 to $200 per day. The allowance for overseas travel by cabinet ministers increased from $300 per day to $500. Assistant Ministers got an allowance for $300 per day an increase from $100. The Speaker to Parliament and Leader of Opposition were also covered with sitting allowances with an increase of $300 per day from $150. Edited by Maraia Vula
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at Parliament yesterday. Photo: Villimoni Vaganalau