Prasad to address salary increase implementation

May 27, 2024 1:00 pm

Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad.

Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad says they will now look into the implementation aspect of the MP’s salaries and allowances.

This, he says will be done  in the national budget next month.

Prasad says with close to $8.1 million on the line for a salary increase, they will now look at how this will impact the overall fiscal budget and ensure that it aligns with the government’s financial priorities and economic sustainability goals.

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While the increase in salary and allowances has ignited a spark among Fijians, Prasad says he understands the sensitivity around this particular situation.

“The committee was supported by an independent consultant, provided by the UNDP. The political parties made submissions. So, when those political parties came to parliament, they took their positions, or they were expected to take their positions as per the submission.”

However, he adds that parliament members had an opportunity to make a submission to the report by the Emolument committee, but Prasad says his party stood by their decision.

“But in a coalition, a three-party coalition, this is a matter on which we decide to have different positions. It is not about government policy. It was about a report which recommended salary increases or changes.”

Prasad also states that a salary review of members of parliament is expected as they are still on a 20% pay reduction.

“My salary was 235,000. I was on a 20% reduction. I’m still on a 20% reduction. And that’s $188,000. So the new recommended salary for me is $200,000. So, effectively, the Minister of Finance has a decrease in the salary. And the same logic also applies to the Honorable Prime Minister. He was also on a 20% pay reduction from $328,000 down to $263,000, minus 20%. Now, that has been reduced from $328,000 to $320,000. So, in fact, he also has a reduction.”

Meanwhile, the changes include the President’s salary increasing from $130,000 to $185,000 non-taxable, Ministers earning between $185,000 and $235,000 will now have standardized salaries of $200,000 and members of Parliament, who currently earn $50,000, will have their salaries nearly doubled to $95,000.

This also involves the Leader of the Opposition’s salary rising from $120,000 to $200,000 and the Speaker of Parliament will see a salary increase from $150,000 to $220,000.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s salary will see a slight reduction from $328,750 to $320,000.