16 Oct 2014

Huge jump in payout for Solomons MPs

11:26 am on 16 October 2014

On the eve of elections the 50 MPs in Solomon Islands are being given individual payouts of more than 53,000 US dollars through an irreversible error by the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission.

The payment is a 300 percent increase from that received by MPs just before the last election four years ago when they got just over 13,400 US dollars.

The Solomon Islands Attorney General, Billy Titiulu, says to his knowledge some MPs have already received their payments.

"The PEC had reviewed the entitlements and they agreed to pay them 400,000 (SBD) dollars each, the regulations were gazetted so they become law. So that's legal, the 400,000 (SBD) is legal. Now they want to decrease it, but the constitution does not allow it. It does not allow the PEC to secure a decrease in the entitlements."

Solomon Islands Attorney General Billy Titiulu.

The payout will cost the heavily aid dependent country about 2.7 million US dollars for money that the MPs do not have to account for.