Major salary hikes for MP’s approved

May 25, 2024 8:30 am

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

Parliament has passed a motion to increase the salaries of Members of Parliament with significant changes endorsed across various parliamentary roles.

Emoluments Committee Chairperson Lynda Tabuya highlighted these changes while addressing the motion.

Tabuya emphasized the need for salary adjustments noting that many Permanent Secretaries currently earn more than the Ministers they serve under.

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For instance, she pointed out that her Permanent Secretary earns $190,000, whereas her own salary had been reduced to $148,000 over the past two years.

Emoluments Committee Chairperson Lynda Tabuya [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

She says that salaries for Permanent Secretaries range from $190,000 to $250,000 whereas Ministers earn less.

Tabuya states that the committee’s recommendations include several key salary adjustments.

The President’s salary will increase from $130,000 to $185,000 non-taxable, reflecting the ceremonial and legal decision-making roles of the position.

The Prime Minister’s salary will see a slight reduction from $328,750 to $320,000, aligning it more closely with the Chief Justice’s salary due to their comparable responsibilities in leading branches of government.

Ministers currently earning between $185,000 and $235,000 will now have standardized salaries of $200,000.

This change ensures parity among Ministers who hold the authority to make legally binding decisions autonomously.

Tabuya says that Assistant Ministers will receive a salary increase from $90,000 to $120,000, recognizing their engagement with high-ranking civil servants in their respective ministries.

The Speaker of Parliament will see a salary increase from $150,000 to $220,000 reflecting the importance of their role as the head of the legislative branch.

The Leader of Opposition’s salary will rise from $120,000 to $200,000 acknowledging the constitutional significance and international representation duties of the position

Members of Parliament, who currently earn $50,000 will have their salaries nearly doubled to $95,000. Tabuya says this adjustment comes after a decade since the last review in 2014.

Tabuya reiterated the bipartisan nature of the Emoluments Committee’s report which was formed by a resolution of Parliament in July 2023 and tabled in May 2024.

The Committee worked with an independent consultant, a former parliamentarian hired by the United Nations Development Programme, to conduct an analysis and comparison with other jurisdictions.

The Committee also consulted with political parties and the Pensions Office to finalize the recommendations.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka supported the reduction of his own salary.

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

However, NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad stated that his party does not support the recommended salary increases outlined in the report.

NFP Leader, Professor Biman Prasad [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

Tabuya states that the approved salary adjustments aim to ensure that parliamentary roles are compensated in a manner reflecting their responsibilities and the level of autonomy required in their decision-making processes.

The changes are expected to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of parliamentary operations in Fiji.