Chaudhry slams MPs over pay hike

May 26, 2024 4:49 pm

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Former Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry has criticized Members of Parliament who voted in favor of a significant increase in their salaries and allowances.

He described them as greedy and self-serving.

The FLP Leader contends that this decision constitutes a gross betrayal of the trust placed in the government by the people.

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Chaudhry claims that in the 18 months since the Coalition Government assumed power, they have failed to deliver the promised increase to the minimum wage while swiftly approving a pay hike for themselves.

He noted that the motion for the pay rise was approved within 24 hours, in blatant breach of proper procedures.

Mahendra Chaudhry [Source: Fiji Labour Party/Facebook]

He claims that Parliamentary protocols were disregarded in the rush to pass the highly controversial pay rise motion.

According to Chaudhry, the MPs have displayed sheer insensitivity and open contempt for the struggles of poor families who strive daily to provide a decent meal for their children, a matter intensified by the imposition of a 15% VAT on most goods and services.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

He further highlighted the ongoing hardship faced by elderly citizens whose FNPF pensions were arbitrarily and unlawfully slashed by 50% in 2012, creating significant distress.

Chaudhry condemned the salary increase as a shameful and immoral act, particularly at a time when Fiji is experiencing a serious financial crisis and the economy is stagnating.

[Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

He asserted that any changes to the remuneration of Parliamentarians, the Speaker and the President must be made through an amendment to the Parliamentary Remunerations Act as stipulated by Section 80 of the 2013 Constitution.

He also criticized Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka for failing to intervene, indicating a lack of discipline within his party and Coalition partners.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Chaudhry adds that the actions of the Parliamentarians demonstrate a prioritization of their interests over those of the people and he called for a reconsideration of leadership to address these issues effectively.