24 Oct 2002

Call for Solomons redundancy money to bypass government

5:33 pm on 24 October 2002

There is a call in Solomon Islands that aid money earmarked for redundancies in the public service should not to be given to the government.

1300 public sector workers are to be made redundant at a cost of seven million US dollars.

New Zealand has indicated it is prepared to contribute about 900,000 US dollars to the severance process while Australia and Taiwan are also expected to help out.

John Roughan from the Solomon Islands Development Trust says under normal circumstances he doesn't believe another country should have anything to do with redundancies.

But he says Solomon Islands is in survival mode and assisting with the severance pay is a useful way of helping the country keep its head above the water.

However he stresses the money should not go directly to the government.

"but to be put into a special trust fund so that the redundant officers really and actually receive the money in hand and not simply go through the ordinary, traditional government processes."