29 Nov 2018

Solomons PM urged to cut extravagant lunches

8:21 pm on 29 November 2018

The prime minister of Solomon Islands, Rick Hou, has been asked to stop hosting extravagant lunches during cabinet and caucus meetings.

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands..

Rick Hou the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.. Photo: RNZ/Pacific Koroi Hawkins

The Solomon Star newspaper reported the call was made by the chairman of the parliamentary Bills and Legislation Committee, Matthew Wale, after it was revealed just under $US500,000s was spent on lunches each year.

The lunch tab featured in a supplementary appropriation bill the government was seeking pass to legalise its unbudgeted expenditure.

Mr Wale said the lunches were a shameful practice, especially in light of the recent nationwide shortage of drugs, basic medical equipment and supplies at hospitals and clinics around the country.

The irony is the heavy lunches are probably contributing to the non-communicable disease epidemic which is already straining the nation's health services, Mr Wale said.

Past governments, which Mr Wale he had served on, did not expect taxpayers to feed MPs as well as pay them to carry out their roles, he said.