WE wish to echo the call Transparency Solomon Islands made for the review and revocation of costly entitlements to Members of Parliament.
Its chairman Bob Pollard said it all and well when he appeared before the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission (PEC) last week.
Mr Pollard cited the micro-projects and charities fund, ex-gratia payment, terminal grant, prime minister’s entitlement upon retirement, the education grant, the appointment grant, pensions for former members and spouses and the overseas subsistence allowance.
These entitlements, Mr Pollard says, have proved to be excessive and the basis for these entitlements has not been justified.
Transparency Solomon Islands was one of the organisations PEC invited to make representations as it begun reviewing entitlements to MPs.
This is part of PEC’s process to determine the 2010 Parliamentary Entitlement Regulation, which will come into effect on April 1.
PEC, under the chairmanship of former politician and Speaker of Parliament Waeta Ben Tabusasi, had at last opened its doors for public consultation on the entitlements.
For this, they must be commended.
That, however, is expected following the controversial entitlements PEC approved last year but was later quashed by the High Court.
Now that PEC is consulting widely, let’s hope they’ll take note of the many submissions made.
They must not allow politicians to influence their decision, but ensure the common good prevails.
We cannot afford to enrich those few privileged 50 while the rest of the nation suffers.
Many of our children could not further their education due to lack of money to fund scholarships.
Yes, our Members of Parliament played a vital role in passing laws and leading this country.
But any entitlements we accord them should commensurate with what the nation can afford.
This is a time to tighten our belts and live within our means.
Leaders must know that.
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