PARLIAMENTARY PAY RAISE IRKS PAPUA NEW GUINEANS

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MPs should be "servants of the people...not…themselves’

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, March 23, 2009) – A decision by Members of Parliament to give themselves a huge pay increase has not gone down well with the majority of the ordinary people of Papua New Guinea.

In this session of parliament, members voted for an increase in their rental and vehicle allowances.

Members agreed to increase these allowances by half from the current rate of one thousand kina plus per fortnight to three thousand kina a fortnight.

A community leader on Bougainville who asked for anonymity said he could understand and rationalise such a huge increase.

He said the hardworking nurses had been waiting for ages to be paid their outstanding allowances, which had resulted in a lot of nurses walking off their jobs.

He said some of this very government ministers and Members of Parliament had condemned the nurses’ action for stop work, and here they are rewarding themselves a huge increase at the tax payer’s cost.

There is no justice in this, he said, and he has appealed to the general public to rise up against such bad decisions by Members of Parliament.

He said the Members of Parliament were supposed to be servants of the people and not elected to serve themselves.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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