A Solomon Islands academic has described the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) reasons for the MPs tax-free and salary increase as ‘clumsy’.
University of Hawaii Associate Professor Dr. Tarcisius Tara Kabutaulaka says the PEC chairman, Johnson Siapu, told Radio Australia last week that MPs need to have a salary that is comparable to the private sector in order to attract the best people to parliament.
But Dr. Tara describes this argument as clumsy given that MPs are elected and do not compete in the open market for jobs.
Mr Kabutaulaka adds the reasons why people compete for elections and why constituents vote for them are much more complex than implied in Siapu’s statement.
Meanwhile, the Solomon Islands academic has suggested that the Forum Solomon Islands International and Transparency International team up with various workers unions and other private citizens to consult lawyers.
This is to determine whether or not there are legal issues at stake and if they have the legal standing to ask the court to revoke PEC’s decision by judicial review.
Tarcisius Kabutaulaka points out the ‘precedent’ was set in 2009, when the Government – through the Attorney General – took PEC to court over the MP spouses’ $50,000 entitlements.