MPs’ benefits keep increasing - Solomon Star News

MPs’ benefits keep increasing

17 April 2015

THE legalise enrichment of our Members of Parliament continues to go unabated.

It was only two years ago that MPs were awarded a cool $400,000 non-taxable terminal grant that they received at the end of each term in parliament.

That’s besides the numerous benefits they get during their term.

This week, the public woke up to another award the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) granted for our MPs.

It is the awarding of life-time pensions to all MPs.

Previously, only those serving two terms or more are entitled to life-time pensions at rates that are based on the number of terms they serve.

Now, as long as one enters parliament and serve a full-term, he or she is also entitled to life-time pensions.

PEC chairman Johnson Siapu claims the job of a MP is a tough one and that MPs don’t have National Provident Fund (NPF) savings.

It was on that premise that they decided to grant one-term MPs a life-time pension.

But that decision goes against the original purpose and intention of establishing a pension scheme.

Pension is normally a scheme designed for those who have either served in the public or private sectors for many years.

It was recognition of the many years of service a person rendered to a particular organisation.

It is normally paid to a person, typically following retirement from service.

Four years is not “many years”.

It is therefore illogical and unwise for PEC to grant life-time pensions for MPs who serve for only a term in parliament.

The only reason we can draw as basis for this decision is to satisfy the whims of the MPs.

It is a highly inconsiderate and blatant decision made without due consideration of the plight of public servants who faithfully served the government for many years without any recognition of their service.

Public servants should be demanding the government to establish for them a pension scheme in recognition of their service to the state.

This is apart from their NPF savings, which often is not enough to keep them going after retirement.

If MPs continue to draw huge benefits from the state for the few years they serve in parliament, there is no reason why a public servant who served the nation for 30 or so years be given similar treatment.

It seems we have turned the MPs role into the most coveted job in the nation.

The result is people vie to enter parliament not to provide leadership, but to grab the many benefits and entitlements that go with the job.

This is a very sad situation!