The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) has elaborated on its decision to reduce the $400,000 terminal grant for 50 members of the now dissolved Ninth Parliament.
Members of the Commission decided to reduce the terminal grant to $200,000 because of the following reasons.
- The recommended $400,000 could impact heavily on the national economy and the government’s financial position.
- The terminal grant could impact on the social sector – education and health services.
- The movements in the levels of other state workers’ salaries, and changes in the retail price index and other relevant indicators.
The Commission members say they received the advice from the National Economic Reform and the Budget Units of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury and the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.
The Commission also considered the public disapproval and submissions from relevant institutions and government agencies when it reduced the award from $400,000 to $200,000.
The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission says it would not give the initial amount under Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 2013, because if it did, then it would suggest it has not given due consideration to the above reasons nor had it exhausted the search for appropriate advice.
PEC maintains the newly revised terminal grant award, along with other revised amendments were submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers on Marcy 24, 2014 for incorporation into the 2014 revised Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations and should have been effective last April 1st.
Meanwhile, frustrated ex-police security border guards said the $400,000 could also impact on the government’s ability to meet their border allowances as well as impacting harshly on the results of former MPs who will defend their seats on the November 19 National Elections.
In the final analysis, the Commission says because its decision hit the constitutional deadline, the 2014 amendments should have been effective as of April 1st as stipulated in section 69B (4) of the constitution.
And it is an obvious breach of the constitutional provision if out of sheer negligence the amended regulation is not acted upon.
The PEC said it is therefore not part of the administrative failure in not timely implementing its decision and calls on the government to explain why its amendment on the regulation may have been invalidated or revoked.
PEC members are Johnson Siapu (Chairman), Alfred Maetia and Steven Firibae (Members), Finance and Treasury caretaker Minister Rick Hou and Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee Chairman Douglas Ete (ex-officio members).
– By George Atkin