24 Apr 2015

Solomon Islands MPs allegedly remove need to pay tax

7:44 pm on 24 April 2015

The anti-corruption body, Transparency Solomon Islands, says the country's MPs no longer have to pay tax.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

Changes to the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations are reported to have come into force on April 1st but attempts to reach the chairman, Johnson Siapu, have been unsuccessful.

The changes are said to include an increase in MPs discretionary funds, a salary increase backdated a year and a reduction in the time before a MP qualifies for a life pension from eight years to four.

Our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, says taxpayers are furious.

"Each average Solomon Islanders salary is it is very low. To hear of these hundreds and thousands of dollars being given to MPs and then also giving an increase in salary and then now they get tax taken away. I mean there is no way a Solomon Islander will not disagree with this. Everyone is thinking my God, what else are they going to get?"

Dorothy Wickham says it is still not clear whether the changes have been gazetted.