27 Apr 2006

Northern Marianas government cancels plans to cut wages

8:13 pm on 27 April 2006

The Northern Marianas Legislature has decided to put aside a wage cut proposal and is now looking at the CNMI Retirement Fund for solutions to the government's financial problems.

Senator Felix Mendiola, chairman of the Senate Fiscal Affairs Committee, says the House Ways and Means Committee and his panel had agreed to shelve the wage cut bills.

Sen Mendiola says widespread opposition to the plan prompted the decision.

The Saipam Tribune reports the Senate was now mulling the feasibility of three draft legislations concerning the Retirement Fund.

Specifically, the Senate is studying a draft bill that would write off as uncollectible the 123-POINT-7 million US dollar debt to the Fund that the government has accrued since 1995.

The Senate may also push for legislation allowing the Fund to float one or more bonds amounting to a total of 40-million dollars.

The original bills sought to reduce government wages by 10 percent across the board.