28 Jun 2006

Solomons government says overseas travel costs not always a charge on taxpayer

2:47 pm on 28 June 2006

The Solomon Islands government says it doesn't always pay all expenses to attend overseas meetings.

The opposition has criticized the Sogavare administration, which was formed less than two months ago, but whose members have already travelled to the Carribean, France, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Belgium and Australia.

The opposition spokesman, Snyder Rini, says the government had promised to cut back on this type of expenditure.

But a government spokesperson Alfred Maesulia says they are often invited to meetings they have to attend, but don't always have to meet the associated costs..

"If the Solomon Islands is a member of that organisation, sometimes those organisations pay for the expenses for participating countries."

But Alfred Maesulia had no comment as to why the prime minister Manasseh Sogavare took three secretarial staff with him to this week's summit in Paris.