SOLOMONS GET $89.4 MILLION IN AUSTRALIAN AID

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (SIBC, Oct. 21) – Solomon Islands Finance Minister Francis Zama has ruled any wage increases for public officials with money provided by Australia for budgetary support.

Mr Zama said this shortly after signing a memorandum of understanding yesterday with the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Bob Davis for a transfer of $89.4 million to the Government.

The money is part of Australian budgetary support to Solomon Islands for the rest of this year and early part of next year.

Mr Zama said the money would be used to maintain services under the recurrent budget.

He said the government would make sure provincial grants, as well as wages and salaries of public officers are paid on time.

Asked whether some of that money would be used to meet pay increases for public officers currently being pursued by the Public Service Union (SIPEU), the Finance Minister said the money is for a specific purpose and rules out the possibility of using it to meet salary and wage increases.

Mr Zama said spending of the money would be under tight budgetary control as a requirement by the Australian Government to ensure it was correctly spend on services intended for.

October 22, 2003

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp.: www.sibconline.com.sb

 

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