The Leader of Government Business, Lynda Tabuya has clarified the nature and purpose of the motion tabled in Parliament yesterday was in response to recent discussions and misinformation circulating in the public domain.
In a statement, Tabuya said the motion in question pertains to the establishment of the Emoluments Committee, which will review salaries and allowances for Members of Parliament.
Tabuya said it is crucial to note that the Parliamentary Duty Allowance of $10,000 per annum is already provided for under the Parliamentary Remunerations Act 2014.
She said that the Parliamentary Duty Allowance is designed as a parliamentary grant aimed at supporting Constituency Visits and assisting political parties in their activities – For the last two terms, Parliament has allocated $15,000 as an allowance for this purpose.
“During these past terms, Parliament allocated the allowance directly to political parties. The distribution of these funds was decided internally through caucus meetings within the respective parties. This method allowed political parties to provide Constituency Allowances directly to their MPs to facilitate their work on behalf of their constituents,” Tabuya said.
The recent change in procedure does not alter the total amount allocated, but rather refines the distribution process.
Now, out of the $15,000 allocated to MPs, $5,000 is designated for the political party. The remaining $10,000 is allocated as the Parliamentary Duty Allowance, which serves to support MPs in their parliamentary duties.
“The motion tabled by the Leader of Government serves to formalise this allocation process in the Parliamentary Remuneration Act. This step ensures transparency and accountability in how MPs utilise these funds.”
“Importantly, it ensures that MPs are not wrongly accused of using State resources for their work. For instance, if an MP needs funding for a community visit, the expenses would be covered by the Parliamentary Duty Allowance, ensuring that MPs utilise this designated allowance, not State resources.”
Furthermore, the recent motion tabled in Parliament, Tabuya seeks to establish a clear and accountable framework for the allocation of parliamentary allowances, specifically the Parliamentary Duty Allowance, which has been in existence under the Parliamentary Remunerations Act 2014.
This action aligns with the government’s commitment to transparent and responsible use of public funds.