Sisiolo clarifies government’s policy change on public servants rental entitlement
A recent Solomon Islands Government (SIG) policy change will see Public Servants will be paid their rental eligibility directly into their bank accounts.
This will come into effect as of January 2022.
Previously, rental payment was directed to Landlords of SIG tenants. It also allows public servants to waive part of their salary to rent a house that costs more than their rental entitlement.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service Nego Sisiolo told SIBC News today that rental eligibility of public officers entitled to base on their position level, does not change.
Instead SIG will not consider waiver as was the practice in the past. It will pay rental entitlements directly to employees without waivers.
Mr Sisiolo said the reason for this is for fairness to all public officers on the housing entitlement.
He said SIG will pay its employees with Public Service Housing Assistance (PSHA).
Another reason for the change in policy is fairness on housing assistance to all officers and leaning towards efficiency in the management of housing as one of the conditions of employment.
“For those who own a property in Honiara, they may use the entitlement to further improve their property.
“Officers who are interested in applying for government-purchased Mamara villas could use such entitlement to rent and finally own a house at Mamara.
Mr Sisiolo said the rental entitlements will be taxed differently as per the current Tax Act.
The Public Service Permanent Secretary said the Government modelled that this policy change will maintain current housing budgeted cost while ensuring all officers are given fair treatment on housing terms and conditions.
The latest change will be applied to public servants from level One (1) to the government highest postholder Superscale 3 (SS3).
A level one public servant is eligible for $1,500 monthly rental while SS3 is eligible for $4,500.
by Jared Koli