NEWS

Work With Budget: Luveni

The Opposition should just work with its budget, says the Speaker of Parliament, Jiko Luveni. She said the $225000 allocated for the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and $45000 allocated
17 Jan 2015 12:36
Work With Budget: Luveni
From left: EU Ambassador for the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs; Parliament Secretary-General, Viniana Namosimalua; Leader of the Opposition, Ro Teimumu Kepa; Speaker, Jiko Luveni, UK Acting High Commissioner, Daniel Salter; and UNDP Pacific Centre Manager, Peter Batchelor Photo: Jona Konataci

The Opposition should just work with its budget, says the Speaker of Parliament, Jiko Luveni.

She said the $225000 allocated for the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) and $45000 allocated for the National Federation Party (NFP) office staff based on each party’s numerical representation in Parliament, could be reviewed at some point.

However, she maintained that nothing was unusual about the allocations and denied any external influence.

Each party is allocated $15000 multiplied by the number of seats it has in Parliament.

Secretary-General to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua said she will stick to the amount allocated for each party and will not comment further on the matter.

This is after the Opposition alleged that she was directed by the Minister of Finance to make the changes by increasing the Opposition allocation from the 2015 Budget from $10,000 per Member of Parliament to $15,000.

The Government says the Opposition criticism about the new parliamentary office demonstrates a further misunderstanding of the separation of powers and parliamentary procedures and processes.  Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa avoided media questions at a tea-party hosted by the acting British High Commissioner yesterday.

UK Parliament trip

Both Mrs Namosimalua and Mrs Luveni are looking forward to travelling to the United Kingdom next week. Accompanying them will be the Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa and Leader of Government Business Pio Tikoduadua. The delegation will visit the three parliaments in the UK, Westminster, Scottish and Welsh parliaments.

In the UK, the delegation will study the way the different parliaments operate. The delegation is expected to observe a live session of the UK Parliament.

“Many of our rules and procedures in the Fiji Parliament are based on practice in Westminster and this will be an excellent opportunity to study in-depth the way in which the Parliament operates, “ said Mrs Luveni.

European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Pacific Andrew Jacobs revealed the trip was part of a $2 m capacity-building package for the Fijian Parliament.

“The strengthening of democracy and of the instuiitutions that ensure its effectiveness is a priority for the European Union around the world, “ he said.

The delegation were hosted to morning tea yesterday by the acting British High Commissioner Daniel Salter.

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 




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