19 Jan 2015

Number of government appointees shocking, Solomons opposition

2:50 pm on 19 January 2015

The Solomon Islands opposition says the governments list of 39 political appointees leaked on social media late last week is shocking and unjustifiable.

The Solomon Star newspaper reported that the unofficial list which included the government salary scales for each appointee would cost the country 1.6 million US dollars a year.

The opposition leader, Jeremy Manele, says the number represents a 200 percent increase from the 14 appointees employed by the previous government.

Mr Manele says if the list is made official it will contradict Prime Minister Sogavare's promise on the floor of parliament to run a cost-effective office.

"It's important that we should note in terms of numbers, the number of political appointees because it could be a costly business. And given the fact that the economy is down it is an issue that, where we can cut costs on. So we will be concerned if there is a huge increase in terms of political appointees in the prime minister's office."

According to the Solomon Star, if the leaked list of 39 appointees is made official it will be the highest number of political appointees ever hired by any Solomon Islands government.

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Photo: RNZ