Friday, June 14, 2024
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Scrap proposed increases, Chaudhry tells PM

Former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry says Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka should scrap the proposed increase in salaries and allowances that was passed by Parliament, last Friday.

The Leader of the Fiji Labour Party said it is the only sensible option available to Rabuka after the huge public outcry at what is seen as unconscionable greed and self-indulgence of our Member of Parliament.

Chaudhry said the Prime Minister should stop all these face-saving statements now about public consultations and adopting proper procedures. The public outrage at the proposed increases is loud and clear.

“The controversy has also unleashed a shameful bout of infighting and backstabbing among Cabinet ministers which are damaging the coalition’s already fragile unity, and whatever little is left of its credibility among the people.”

He reiterates that the increases are unwarranted and unjustified at a time when our ordinary families are struggling to survive and faced with low pay and escalating cost of living – even if it is “just $8.1m” as the Prime Minister injudiciously claims.

“It is also unjustified to take account of the MP’s mediocre performance as ministers and opposition members. The government has failed so far to restore confidence in Fiji’s future as evidenced by the astonishingly large numbers of our people leaving the country for good.”

Chaudhry has urged the Government to scrap the proposed increases and limit overseas travel allowances to UNDP rates without any topping up.

He added that the 20 percent cut imposed on parliamentary pay following the Covid crisis, should be regularised through amendments to the Parliamentary Remunerations Act.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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