PNG COMMISSION RECOMMENDS GOVERNMENT PAY HIKES

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15 percent increase on table for MPs, judges, top officials

By Harlyne Joku PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 26, 2010) – About 750 leaders including Members of Parliament, judges and departmental heads will benefit from 15 per cent pay hike over a period of three years ( 2009 to 2011) estimated at about 33 million-kina [US$12.5 million].

The newly appointed Minister for Public Service Moses Maladina made the announcement when he tabled the 36th Report of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in parliament yesterday.

Mr. Maladina said the recommendations for the pay hike are a result of findings of the Hay Group Consultants who conducted the Leader’s Pay Review in 2009.

Hay Group Consultants recommended that the base salary of leaders be brought to the average level of the Public Sector base salaries. The 750 leaders include the 109 members of Parliament, judges, magistrates and constitutional office holders including the Chief Ombudsman, Public Prosecutor etc. Mr. Maladina said it is estimated that 20 million-kina [US$7.6 million] of the 33 million-kina [US$12.5 million] will be expended in 2010 which includes back pay for 2009 and 13 million-kina [US$5 million] in 2011.

According to the report there is a wide gap in the remuneration of leaders that has developed since the last review in 2000.

Over this nine year period the leaders base salaries have increased by only 5 per cent compared to 52 per cent in the public sector on average, Mr. Maladina said. He explained that during the same period official Consumer Price Index increased by 53 per cent but the real value of leaders’ salaries fell by more than a half. The Public Sector average salary is projected to increase by not less that 10 per cent over period 2009 to 2011, he added. In order to correct this general pay differential anomaly, Mr. Maladina said the Hay Group has recommended that the 50 percent base salary shortfall be progressively adjusted over three years.

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