Widespread discontent over MP salary increase

May 26, 2024 7:55 am

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

Majority of Fijians are living paycheck to paycheck with many struggling daily to provide for their families.

This sentiment was echoed by numerous Fijians interviewed by FBC News after Parliament endorsed the salary and allowance increase for all MPs on Friday.

Fijians have been expressing their disappointment and frustration since Friday night over the decision to increase MPs’ salaries which now range from $45,000 to $50,000.

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Market vendor Sakiusa Cama highlighted that most Suva vendors can only feed their families day-to-day with their earnings.

Sakiusa Cama

He emphasized that saving money has become impossible due to the rising cost of living, which is not matched by ordinary people’s salaries.

Cama expressed disgust over the government’s decision to raise MPs’ salaries, noting that they are already earning comfortably.

“Most of us Fijians are living on paycheck to paycheck and it is impossible to even save money.”

Meri Marama, a Suva vendor who sells cooked root crops, pastries, Bu and other Fijian refreshments, criticized MPs for not living up to their promises of serving the people, contrasting their actions in Parliament with their pre-election rhetoric.

Meri Marama

“I am pleading with the government to please first look out for the needs and interests of Fijians in need because right now the wages of normal people fails to coincide with the cost of living.”

Masan Bi, a businesswoman of over 30 years believes that MPs are already wealthy and their salaries reflect this.

“They should at least increase the minimum wage of poor people especially laborers, something they should put up.”

Masan Bi

Entrepreneur Imdad Ali voiced his support for the government but urged MPs to consider the livelihoods and well-being of ordinary and vulnerable Fijians.

“They haven’t done something for Fijians to explain why their salaries should increase.”

Twenty-nine government MPs and 23 Opposition MPs participated in the vote, resulting in the approval of the salary and allowance increases for all Fijian MPs, effective August 1 this year.