PEC Clarifies Proposed Increase to MP’s Salaries
The Parliamentary Entitlement Commission (PEC) has clarified the proposed increase to salaries for Members of Parliament.
Speaking to the local media in Honiara PEC chairman Johnson Siapu said the proposed increase was made considering the cost of living adjustments in 2017 and 2019.
“The decision taken by the commission is firstly because the current salary is a proposal made in 2017 and 2019, this is to do with cost-of-living adjustments that was given to public servants in 2017 and 2019, when public servants received their increases, the commission will have to look into the members of parliament salary increase proposal.”
Mr Siapu said in 2018 they had plans to work towards implementing the proposal but didn’t due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The covid-19 pandemic caused the commission to hold on to the MPs payments, now it has reached the point that 2020, 2021 and 2022 the commission could not even lift the salary payment proposal increase, by the end of last year we have decided that it is good for the commission to carry out its consultation work on the proposal.”
“We started our consultation work in January this year starting with the council of trade unions, this is mainly following a threat made to the police that a demonstration is to be carried out on the matter.”
Consultation into the proposal is currently ongoing.
The commission will meet and seek advice from the Central Bank of Solomon Islands on the country’s economy before looking into the proposed increase.
“Consultations we have carried out in the past have been carefully conducted, with the current consultation process it is also carried out in the same manner as there are implications in terms of the economy and financial situation of the country.”
Mr Siapu explained Members of parliament are represented by the parliamentary house committee which is provided for under section 70 of the parliamentary standing orders.
PEC hopes they can meet with the parliamentary house committee once they convene.
“We have met with the chairman of the committee Hon Rick Hou last week but he was not able to get his committee together, we understand they are the ones who have come to oppose the salary increase,” Mr Siapua concluded
By Sharon Nanau