THE Opposition has renounced a proposal by the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) to grant Members of Parliament a 10 per cent increase across the board in basic salaries and entitlements, saying the proposed increases are “unjustified.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Opposition Leader Matthew Wale, called on the PEC to refrain from giving further increases in entitlements to Members of Parliament (MPs),
“Why should we (MPs) be benefiting from increase in salaries and entitlements (while) our health sectors are ailing, our roads are in bad state, our economy in recession, our people are struggling each day to put food on their table?
“This is insensitive to say the least,” he said.
Mr Wale said the PEC should review the proposal and “renounce any decision to increase MPs’ salaries and other parliamentary entitlements.”
The Opposition Leader made the call following media reports this week that PEC is proposing increases in salaries and other parliamentary entitlements to be effective from April 1 this year (2023).
“… it is an ‘unwise and insensitive’ proposal given that the country’s economy is in recession, public servants have not had any pay increases for three years, nor have private sector employees.”
Mr Wale said the 2023 budget has the largest deficit in history to be financed by borrowing.
“With an economy in recession, these proposed increases are unjustified.
“Ordinary Solomon Islanders are struggling with just putting food on the table and such increases to MPs are divorced from the economic realities faced by Solomon Islanders,” Mr Wale said.
He said public servants especially nurses, teachers and our police should be the ones considered to be given pay rise.
The Opposition Leader said this is certainly news that would only cause mixed reactions and a very bad omen to start of the year 2023.
He said Solomon Islanders are heavily taxed and the proposed increases in basic salaries and other entitlements are “unfair for citizens of this country.”
Solomon Islanders, he said, must speak out against this proposal.”
By Alfred Sasako