4 Sep 2012

Hundreds of Solomons festival contractors still awaiting payment

2:12 pm on 4 September 2012

Hundreds of Solomon Islands contractors who did last minute work to enable the Festival of Pacific Arts to go ahead in July are still waiting to be paid.

The four-yearly event, which the host country's government always funds, was declared a success by all involved, despite a budget overrun and earlier complaints of misspending and non-payment.

The secretary of a group of contractors representing the hundreds of people who provided services, from laying gravel, to building houses to cleaning, says the government has run out of money to pay them.

Joseph Neilsen says it took advantage of people's good will.

"People are running out of patience and anything could happen. Like I said, it's inhumane that such a successful event is marred by this terrible thing that people who have worked, they've worked in good faith, they were proud to help thinking they would get paid and they're not yet paid."

Joseph Neilsen says the contractors are hoping the government will pass the supplementary budget next week so it can pay them.