MPs face heavy financial demands: Kamikamica

May 29, 2024 6:58 am

[Source: Parliament of Fiji/ Facebook]

Deputy Prime Minister Manoa Kamikamica has defended the significant increase in salaries and allowances for Members of Parliament, responding to public concerns.

Kamikamica states that MPs are neither machines nor Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), countering the perception that they are solely for financial support.

He acknowledges that MPs have faced substantial financial demands from constituents, often involving significant sums of money. He argued that the salary adjustments are fair and necessary given the nature of their work and the personal financial pressures they encounter.

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[Source: Parliament of Fiji/ Facebook]

The Deputy Prime Minister highlights that MPs had tolerated a 20 percent pay cut since the COVID-19 pandemic while other sectors have since had their full salaries restored.

“I hope in time, the people of Fiji can understand that certainly for me, the MPs and the Assistant Ministers deserve an adjustment. Particularly the MPs, the salary they’re getting, it’s really hard.It’s very hard for them.”

He expresses empathy for the MPs, noting that their remuneration should reflect the extensive work they do in parliamentary committees and within their communities.

Kamikamica also commented on the internal party debate that preceded the adoption of the Emoluments Committee report stating that the decision was made along party lines after robust discussions.

He says he respects the differing stance of the National Federation Party (NFP) members who voted against the pay increase and also stressed the coalition partners’ right to hold independent views.

He assures that the government is attentive to the concerns of Fijians and that the Finance Minister has been actively consulting on the budget.

Kamikamica expresses confidence that the upcoming budget will address the needs of all Fijians, reiterating the commitment of MPs to serve people despite the financial challenges they face.