Saturday August 23, 2014 - 6:37 am | Login

31 MPs vote for pay rise

Only seven Members of Parliament out of 52 voted yesterday afternoon against the Parliament budge head that included the increase in salary for MPs and reduction in allocation.

In contrast 31 MPs, which included the whole Council of Ministers, except for Deputy Prime Minister Sato Kilman who was absent, voted in favour of the Parliament budget head presented by Minister of Finance Sela Molisa.

The decision by the Speaker of Parliament to put the budget head to vote came after Port Vila MP, Ralph Regenvanu, moved a motion according to parliamentary Standing Orders requesting that a nominal vote be made in the area.

And while the Parliament (Members’ Expenses and Allowances) Act is yet to be amended, the increase in MPs allowances from Vt200, 000 to Vt366, 667 per month has effectively been made yesterday by parliament.

Those who voted for the increase included Prime Minister Edward Natapei, Minister for Finance Sela Molisa, Minister for Public Utilities Serge Vohor, Minister for Foreign Affairs Joe Natuman, Minister for Lands Paul Telukluk, Minister for Justice Bakoa Kaltongga, Minister for Internal Affairs Moana Carcasses, Minister for Agriculture Steven Kalsakau, Minister for Education Charlot Salwai, Minister for Youth Raphael Worwor, Minister for Ni-Vanuatu Business Dunstan Hilton and members of parliament Thomas Isom, Tai Voiasusu, Kisito Teilemb, Lorin Solomon, Philip Charlie, Bruce Asal, Willie Reuben Abel, Daniel Toara, Havo Moli, Bob Loughman, James Ngwango, David Tosul, Patrick Crowby, Isaac Hamariliu, David Abel, Louis Etap, Samsen Samson, Esmon Sae and Acting Speaker Philip Boedoro.

Those who voted against the budge head including the increase in salary for MPs and reduction of MP allocation included three Government Backbenchers and they are David Areiasuv, Ralph Regenvanu, and Peter Vuta. The other MPs who voted against are Harry Iauko, Don Ken, Jean Ravou, and Eta Rory.

Members of parliament who abstained include James Bule, Joshua Kalsakau, Yoane Simon, and Morking Stevens.

The MPs who were absent include Deputy Prime Minister Sato Kilman, Leader of Opposition Maxime Carlot Korman, Deputy Leader of Opposition Ham Lini, Alfred Carlot, Speaker George Wells, Willie Lop, Jossie Masmas, Dominique Morin, and Marcellino Pipite.

With the changes to the Parliament (Members’ Expenses and Allowances) Act soon, this will mean at their four-year term all MPs will be laughing all the way to the bank to get over Vt4 million in gratuity payment- an amount that some committed civil servants such as teachers and nurses get as severance after providing public service for over 30 years.