Tonga Plans Investigation Of Civil Servants’ Salaries

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Unconfirmed reports government to spend $2.2 million on effort

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, 2015) –The Tonga government plans to spend allegedly $2.2 million USD (around $4.6 million pa’anga) on an investigation project to find out if Tongan civil servants are over-paid or under-paid.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Finance confirmed today, 6 August, that an investigation will be carried out by the Remuneration Authority - a government body. However, they could not confirm or deny that USD$2.2 million had been allocated for the investigation.

The figure was claimed in overseas media reports today that were sourced to Radio Tonga, and stated that the investigation has to be completed before the end of next month.

The Minister of Finance Hon. ‘Aisake Eke was reported to have said that the outcome of the investigation could be implemented and backdated to 1 July 2015.

It was not clear why the investigation would cost the same amount as a proposed civil service salary increase.

$5 million pay increase

A pay increase was part of the national budget that was passed by the Tongan Parliament before the end of June, and was implemented on 1 July. It included $5 million Pa’anga, designated to increase the salaries of civil servants, Members of Parliament and the Judiciary.

More than 50% of the budget allocation of all government ministries are for salaries.

For the first time in this year’s budget, the salaries of the soldiers of His Majesty’s Armed Forces for the first time come under the same scale of that of civil servants.

The Remuneration Authority is chaired by Siosi Mafi, with members: Meleseini Lomu, Posesi Bloomfield, Taniela Fusimalohi and Lomu Sika.

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