14 Jan 2015

NFP calls Fiji parliamentary funding cut a disaster

5:04 pm on 14 January 2015

The leader of the opposition National Federation Party in Fiji says surprising new changes to parliamentary funding are a disaster for the NFP.

Fiji's Members of Parliament

Fiji's Members of Parliament Photo: Fiji Department of Information

Biman Prasad says the Secretary-General to Parliament has revoked the employment of his four administrative staff because of a funding system put in place by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Mr Prasad says the new system gives parties just over 11,000 US dollars per MP for staffing and that is not enough.

He also says the Secretary-General is meant to decide on operational parliamentary finances and no-one else.

"We've lost staff and we feel that this is a direct interference in the independence of the legislature. It is designed to kill and harass smaller parties like the National Federation Party. What this amounts to is that we cannot now operate effectively and efficiently as a political party."

Mr Biman Prasad says he will also not be able to carry out his duties as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee properly under the new staffing plan.