28 Jul 2010

Solomons' academic calls for changes in development fund distribution

3:33 pm on 28 July 2010

A Solomon Islands academic says development funds need to be invested in income generating opportunities rather than handed out to constituents in the hope of winning votes.

Boosting rural development and reforming the distribution of development funds are key issues for many political parties contesting next week's national election.

A Pacific Studies professor at the University of Hawaii, Dr Tarcisius Kabutaulaka says each MP has been responsible for distributing more than 800,000 US dollars of rural development funds during the last parliament.

He says this has led voters to expect the money to be handed out, rather than used as capital for investment

"People think that that's what happens, that's what a politician does. He or she has access to state resources, and in this case funds that go through the state, and then hands it out to the general population and that perpetuates the mentality of hand out."

Dr Tarcisius Kabutaulaka says developments funds could be administered through a bank or micro-credit scheme.