24 Jun 2019

Anger in Cook Islands over salary rise for MPs

9:10 am on 24 June 2019

While Cook Islands MPs get ready for hefty wage rises from next week, the Group for Political Change is angry.

Cook Islands Parliament.

Cook Islands Parliament. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The country's Remuneration Authority has granted salary increases of about 45 percent with the deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown saying it is timely because there hadn't been a rise in 15 years.

The increases make the Cook Islands Prime Minister and his MPs among the best paid politicians in the Pacific.

The Group for Political Change has been pushing for fundamental reforms, such as an increase in the number of sitting days by parliament but it has been making no progress.

Spokesperson Lynnsay Rokohea-Francis is furious at the salary increases.

"I just think it's wrong, it's just wrong, wrong, wrong. Then you see for example the teachers, the doctors, medical staff, the police, essential services - they have to go to work. Some of them go to work seven days a week and they get paid a fraction of what these members of parliament get paid, and they only go to parliament 14 days a year."