28 Nov 2003

Fiji MP accuses PM's office of double dipping

4:31 pm on 28 November 2003

A senior Fiji Labour Party MP, Poseci Bune, has told parliament that a sum of 600-thousand US dollars allocated to the prime minister's office under the 2004 budget for village improvements is just for vote-buying.

The Fiji Times quotes Mr Bune as saying he could not understand why the allocation was made under the prime minister's office when it should have been made through the appropriate ministry.

Mr Bune said it was an act of double dipping because allocations were made from the various ministries as well as the prime minister's office.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, said at times when ministers visit schools and villages in their constituencies, they are required to make donations.

But Mr Bune said in these cases ministers should say where the funds are from.

He said most of the time the villagers think the funds are from the minister's own pocket and not from the national budget because of how it is presented to them.