27 Apr 2015

Solomons commission wants tax-free public service

7:25 pm on 27 April 2015

The Chairman of Solomon Islands Parliamentary Entitlements Commission which controversially removed taxes from MPs salaries this month says he wants taxes removed for all public servants.

Johnson Siapu says high living costs and the unique financial and the cultural expectations Solomons' constituents have of their MPs, motivated the Commission's changes.

He says he will be advocating strongly for the Public Service Commission and other relevant bodies to follow his organisation's lead and increase salaries and benefits for Solomon Islanders in the public sector.

"We would like to look at having public servants also receiving no taxes. And that is an issue which other responsible commissions and other organisations have to work on to look at how they can be able to submit to the government.

"But we will definitely participate in any discussions going forward."

Mr Siapu explained that the commission's recent awards also included 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.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins