20 Sep 2003

Cooks opposition leader says parliament schedule the issue, not MP's salaries

9:56 am on 20 September 2003

The leader of the Cook Islands opposition, Sir Geoffry Henry, says MPs should earn more, not less, but believes criticism that their salaries are too high is diverting from the real issue with parliamentarians.

MPs salaries are one of the ongoing concerns of the reform process in the Cook Islands, and the group for political change has been leading calls for a sitting fee to be introduced for parliamentarians.

But Sir Geoffry says the concern with their earnings stems from the fact that parliament has only sat for twenty days this year so far.

"It is a matter for the government of the day to organise parliamentary sittings. there has been some suggestion that a calendar should be drawn up where parliament woud sit for certain days of certain months during the year. And then people would know that parliament would be sitting from month A to month B or whatever."