MPs granted ownership of parliamentary gadgets

May 25, 2024 12:32 pm

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

Members of Parliament will now retain the gadgets provided to them at the beginning of their term including mobile phones, laptops and iPads.

This move, part of a motion passed last night in Parliament aims to ensure MPs have the necessary tools to effectively carry out their duties.

Emoluments Committee Chairperson Lynda Tabuya also emphasized the importance of these gadgets in enabling MPs to perform their work efficiently.

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She stressed that MPs are entitled to keep these gadgets even after their term in Parliament ends.

The motion also addressed allowances for key officeholders within Parliament.

It was endorsed that the Deputy Speaker of Parliament will receive an annual allowance of $15,000, recognizing the significant role they play in presiding over parliamentary sessions in the absence of the Speaker

The Leader of Government Business will receive an annual allowance of $7,000 for their role in coordinating government business during parliamentary sessions.

The position of Deputy Whip in Parliament has been approved to receive a yearly allowance of $3,000.

Maternity leave for MPs has also been approved and this change aims to encourage more women to seek elected office.

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

It was suggested that this leave should be established in line with the national system for such benefits.

Tabuya also discussed proposed changes to the Parliamentary Retirement Allowances Act of 1989.

The motion recommended several amendments to align the Act with the evolving economic and social landscape of the country.

This included reducing the maximum years of service for retirement eligibility from 15 years to 12 years, in line with the standard four-year terms of Parliament.

Other issues addressed in the motion included the “double-dipping” issue, spousal eligibility for retirement allowances and the designation of the Administrator for retirement allowances.

Tabuya emphasized the need for clarity and fairness in the administration of retirement allowances, urging further discussion on certain aspects of the Act.