20 Apr 2016

Solomons courts revoke MPs tax free salaries

6:28 pm on 20 April 2016

Anti-corruption groups in Solomon Islands are celebrating a High Court ruling which has reversed controversial regulations that awarded MPs tax free salaries in April last year.

In delivering the ruling, chief justice Sir Albert Palmer, said more than 10 of the regulations introduced last year by the parliamentary entitlements commission were unconstitutional and have been declared null and void.

The regulations brought in a series of awards for MPs, including making their salaries tax-free and relaxing conditions that qualified MPs for pensions.

One of the claimants in the case was executive officer of Transparency Solomon Islands, Ruth Liloqula.

She said the ruling was a victory for taxpayers as members of the commission failed to adhere to their constitutional duties in giving out the awards.

"The state of the national economy and the financial position of the government movement in the level of pay and entitlements admissible to persons in employment and changes in the retail price. Most of which they have not taken that into any consideration at all when they made the awards," she said.