6 Jun 2005

Samoa opposition questions

7:16 pm on 6 June 2005

The leader of Samoa's opposition says pay increases in the government budget are not as good as they appear to be.

Le Mamea Ropati says the 42-percent pay increases for public servants and 50 percent increases for low income earners are going to be spread out over three years, not one.

The budget, totalling over 164-million US dollars, also features 30% pay increases for senior public servants, MPs and the head of state.

Le Mamea says the government does not have enough money to pay for such increases at present.

"I just want to remind you that this is an election budget and I would expect all these sort of things to come up. As far as we're concerned, there's a lot of window dressing with this budget. It's all painted with cosmetics and that sort of thing to make it look nice but deep inside there's nothing much about it."

Le Mamea Ropati says the government should have instead pointed out strictly how much pay will raise in the next year.