NEWS

Opposition Votes For Pay Move

A proposal for a review of parliamentarians’ salaries took an unexpected turn yesterday. Opposition parliamentarian Mosese Bulitavu stood to second the motion, normally done by Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau. The
07 Jul 2015 09:58
Opposition Votes For Pay Move
Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa in Parliament yesterday.

A proposal for a review of parliamentarians’ salaries took an unexpected turn yesterday.

Opposition parliamentarian Mosese Bulitavu stood to second the motion, normally done by Government Whip Semi Koroilavesau.

The move in response to the motion by Leader of Government Business Inia Seruiratu caught members of the Government by surprise.

Even Speaker of the House Dr Jiko Luveni was caught off-guard by the Opposition move. After the session, a few Government MPs made snide remarks outside Parliament, about the quick response by the Opposition to back a Government motion that directly benefitted them, while otherwise being openly critical of the rest of Government initiatives.

When approached, National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad indicated their aim was for a reduction in salaries, meaning the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.

However, its expected Opposition MPs will also push for an increase in the $50,000 base salary.

This would be consistent with the Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa’s criticism of the level of her salary along with ordinary MPs in media statements last year.

The Leader of the Opposition gets $120,000, Assistant Ministers get $90,000, Most Cabinet Ministers receive $185,000 apart from Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama who receives an annual salary of $230,000 exclusive of allowances.

The Emoluments Committee that will review these includes are:

– Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate (chairperson)

– Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Veena Bhatnagar

– Government MP Sanjit Patel

– Opposition MP Tupou Draunidalo (NFP)

– Opposition MP Salote Radrodro (SODELPA)

Opposition MP Mosese Bulitavu used a back door entrance from the Secretary-General to Parliament’s Office to exit as the Fiji Sun news team were waiting to question him in front for ‘making history’ by seconding a Government motion.

Committee chairperson Mr Usamate said they would wait for the parliamentary secretariat to set their first meeting date.

Motion by Leader of the     Government in Parliament:

 

“That in accordance with Standing Order 129 and in line with the provisions outlined in the Parliamentary Remunerations Decree 2014, that Parliament establishes an Emoluments Committee to investigate into and report upon the determination of remunerations for the President, Prime Minister, other Ministers and Assistant Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Members of Parliament.

 

The Emoluments Committee shall –

(a) Commission an independent organisation to consider the appropriate levels of renumeration for the President, Prime Minister, other Ministers and Assistant Ministers, the Leader of the Opposition, the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and Members of Parliament;

(b) Review the independent considerations and report back to Parliament with recommendations no later than Monday, 24 August, 2015.

Feedback:  josuat@fijisun.com.fj

 

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