26 Nov 2008

Cabinet members in Tonga intend to increase salaries by up to 125 percent - says MP

7:58 am on 26 November 2008

Tonga's leading pro-democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva, says the members of Cabinet are intending to increase their salaries by up to 125 percent.

Mr Pohiva says this would take their earnings to more than 40 thousand US dollars annually.

In addition he says there will be significant other benefits including entertainment allowances and superannuation.

Mr Pohiva says Parliament will still need to approve the increases but such big rises now are inappropriate.

"Simply because the economy is so bad and there is no hope for any quick recovery as we move on to the future. There are of course other vital services for the members of the public and the allocation for the salary rise should have gone to other social services like the education and health."