22 Jul 2010

Tonga MP says resistance to Remuneration Bill based on unfairness

1:40 pm on 22 July 2010

A Tonga MP says resistance to the passing of a Bill allowing for the establishment of an independent body that'll set parliamentary salaries was based on timing.

The Number Two People's Representative on Tongatapu says pro-democracy MPS were not opposed in principle to the Remuneration Authority Bill, which was passed last week.

Isileli Pulu says under the new body salaries should be pitched at a level that Tonga can afford.

But he says passing the bill now to enable the authority to start work didn't make sense.

"See our budget for this current financial year, 2010 to 2011 has been set and passed through parliament. So the question is, why can't they just wait for the next government to do all that, for the next financial year?"

Isileli Pulu says Cabinet Ministers have already had their salaries and retirement packages set and it's unfair that they should not be subject to the new commission's decisions.