LOCALS in the country have raised their concerns over huge and luxury living of expats coming to work in the country in the name of aid workers, volunteers or advisors.
Whilst some Solomon islanders accept the fact that the government did not spend any single penny on the salaries and allowances of these expat workers, many have called for a review and if so guidelines that regulate expats pay packages.
“I am doing the same job as my counterpart who is a foreigner and yet our organisation only pays me less compared to my expat colleague. I question why this expat is paid a very attractive package and not me even though I have the same qualification and that this expat did nothing compared to me. Is this how our aid donors going to treat us?” the concerned employee asked.
He said most of these said advisors, aid workers and volunteers came and live a luxurious life while Solomon Islanders who did most of the job are suffering trying to make ends meet with the little they earn a fortnight.
The issue was also raised in the social media network FSII with many comments going for and against the system.
Some say there must be a standard payment like that of International Labour Organisation (ILO) or the United Nation (UN).
A contributor has called on the government to review and set a standard procedure that all expats coming to work in the country should only receive a pay package similar to that of UN.
It was revealed Australians coming to assist the country under the aid projects are paid three to four times that of senior local employees which gave rise to dissatisfaction and hatred amongst locals.
“Why do these donor countries have to send in their advisors or other workers with huge packages? Most of these jobs can be done by locals and yet the donor community still sends in their workers. This is clearly an unfair practice because nearly half of the aid money actually goes to meet the cost of these expat workers. That money could have benefited Solomon Islands on tangible things than just to waste it on expats coming as advisors project managers etc who did nothing but save thousands of dollars when they go back home,” the concerned employee added.
He stressed that if these donor countries are serious about developing these nation, the millions of dollars in salary payments for their expats should have been dumped into the country rather than giving it back to their own people who come and work in the country.
“These donors must think we accept this but they must understand that the money they gave us was actually creating division and hatred amongst locals who work their hard out but were less paid.”
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA