3 Oct 2011

French Polynesia assembly reluctantly approves pay cut

1:09 pm on 3 October 2011

An assembly member in French Polynesia says political leaders would never have imposed a pay cut on themselves, had France not forced them to.

The French Polynesian assembly approved a ten percent cut to assembly members' salaries on Friday, to follow a law change adopted by France.

An assembly member Sabrina Birk says her proposal to cut entitlements by half was rejected, as was another member's bid to reduce politicians salaries to the minimum wage.

She says the ten percent cut was reluctantly approved.

"It's been years and years that we're at this salary. And you can only do this kind of cut usually when you first come into politics, when you're willing. But after many years, most of the politicians get used to their salary and refuse to put their salary down. This is what I have noticed."

Sabrina Birk says salaries have been slashed from about 7,000 US dollars a month to just over 6,000 dollars, which she says is not enough to make a big difference.