29 Apr 2015

Solomons PM to address tax free MPs salaries

6:20 am on 29 April 2015

The Solomon Islands prime minister has acknowledged there is public outrage over MPs' salaries being made tax free.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare Photo: RNZI

The changes are the work of the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission.

Manasseh Sogavare says he will announce a range of measures to deal with what he calls the unpopular announcement, but has not said what steps he might take.

Koroi Hawkins reports.

It was definitely a Happy Easter for Solomon Islands MPs this year with their salaries becoming income tax free at the start of the month.

On top of that MPs received a 7.5 % pay rise with 3.5% of this back dated to April last year.

They will also get a two thirds increase in their discretionary funds, which are often called slush funds, and easier access to life pensions.

The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission is a constitutional body whose job it is to review MPs salaries and entitlements on an annual basis, with their decisions coming into force automatically every year on the first of April.

After a public outcry over the latest changes, prime minister Sogavare has released a statement promising to address these concerns in the coming days.

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Photo: RNZI Koroi Hawkins

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