Fijians call for transparency on MP salary increase

May 27, 2024 6:50 am

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

Questions have been raised by vulnerable Fijians regarding who will bear the cost of the recent increase in salaries and allowances for Members of Parliament.

The decision has sparked frustration and disappointment among many including fisherman Luke Delainukunawa.

Delainukunawa, a 47-year-old who also volunteers for a Non-Government Organization expressed his concern that this change will disproportionately impact marginalized Fijians like himself.

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[Luke Delainukunawa]

He highlights that many families in Fiji struggle to afford meals and suggests that MPs might be unaware of this harsh reality.

“Right now, we are unable to afford three meals a day so at times, we can only afford one or two meals because we are unable to buy enough food.”

Delainukunawa argues that even before this pay increment, the salaries of Fijian MPs were already comfortably positioned.

He emphasizes that MPs should remember that the Fijian populace is now more intellectually developed and aware of the economic impacts that such a change will have particularly on the struggling segments of the population.

“MP’s need to tell us the basis of their pay increment.”

Residents of the Nanuku settlement in Suva echoed Delainukunawa’s sentiments.

Tipaua Paapu, a construction worker stated that his current pay is insufficient to meet his household needs.

[Tipaua Paapu]

Leone Nuku adds that MPs should be mindful that they were elected by the people and should therefore prioritize the wellbeing of their constituents.

“They should first think of us ordinary Fijians.”

[Leone Nuku]

As Fijians continue to voice their concerns, the need for a more inclusive dialogue on such critical decisions becomes evident. The government’s response to these concerns will be crucial in shaping public trust and confidence.