16 Apr 2010

Citing costs, Solomons minister opposes more constituencies

3:40 pm on 16 April 2010

A government minister in Solomon Islands says the country can ill-afford more MPs and it's unclear whether it needs them.

The parliament has rejected a proposal to create 17 new constituencies which was made in the 2009 Constituency Boundaries Commission Report.

The Education Minister, Matthew Wale, says while larger constituencies may need additional seats, 17 is far too many.

He says a case could be made that fewer constituencies are needed than the existing 50.

"We don't want to end up as a country that spends more of its meagre resources on the top leadership echelon, and at the moment that is the case. Quite a bit is spent on, if you have leaders you are going to have to look after them, so you are going to have less money to spend on services and development."

Matthew Wale says some MPs may try to bring the proposal before parliament again next week, but he expects it would again be defeated.

He says the Boundaries Commission should re-examine the issue and bring a new report to parliament next year.