MPs COVID-19 salary reduction reversed

May 25, 2024 4:55 pm

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

The 20 percent pay cut imposed on Members of Parliament during the COVID-19 pandemic will be restored on August 1.

Emoluments Committee Chairperson Lynda Tabuya says MPs have been on the reduced salary for the past three years and there is a need to reinstate their full pay.

Addressing the outdated Parliamentary Retirement Allowances Act of 1989, Tabuya states that the committee has proposed significant revisions.

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She highlighted the need for a complete overhaul of the Act to align it with modern standards and ensure clarity for beneficiaries.

One key recommendation was the establishment of an independent remuneration and allowances tribunal to determine MP benefits and salaries, removing this responsibility from parliamentary committees.

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

Tabuya also proposed changes to the eligibility criteria for retirement allowances, advocating for a more inclusive approach.

Under the suggested amendments, any MP who served in Parliament regardless of the duration, would be eligible for retirement benefit. The maximum term of service for eligibility would be reduced from 15 years to five years.

Another notable recommendation focused on the retirement age eligibility criteria. Tabuya says the proposed changes aimed to provide fair and proportionate allowances based on age categories, ensuring that MPs over 55 receive the full amount while younger MPs receive prorated allowances.

Regarding the calculation formula for retirement allowances, Tabuya emphasized the need for simplification.

The proposed formula would calculate the allowance based on the average annual salary of the best three years multiplied by the number of years of service as an MP.

Tabuya stressed the importance of these revisions in addressing the evolving economic and social landscape of Fiji. She emphasized the need for transparency and fairness in determining MP benefits and salaries, urging Parliament to prioritize these reforms.

She adds that the recommendations aim to modernize the legislative framework governing parliamentary emoluments and ensure equitable treatment for current and former MPs alike.