5 Aug 2013

Urgent need for services in Solomons says former government secretary

6:39 am on 5 August 2013

A former secretary to the Solomon Islands prime minister says the money allocated to MPs through the constituency development fund would be far better spent on delivering basic services to people.

The prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo says money for rural development in each electorate is being channelled through a constituency development office.

He says that will ensure the funds - more than three quarters of a million US dollars for each constituency - is spent wisely and transparently but there's widespread doubt about whether that will be the case.

John Roughan, who was a government secretary from 2006 to 2010, says it's good the money is getting into rural areas but people still lack access to basic social services such as health and education.

"You can never use a project raising pigs or cattle or cocoa plantation as a substitute for these social servcies. Social services are one hard thing to deliver, I accept that. But that's the nature of the game."

John Roughan says connecting villages by road is one of the main ways the lives of rural people could be improved.