22 Aug 2002

Senators and Fono want more money after Governor presents a balanced budget

4:35 pm on 22 August 2002

Members of American Samoa's Senate have called for salary increases.

The Senators says the increases should be part of Governor Tauese Sunia's plans to reclassify salaries for all government workers.

However the Senate President, Lutu Fuimaono says that present law prohibits a serving legislature from approving its own pay rises.

At present, lawmakers earn 25-thousand US dollars a year plus a tax free expense allowance of 15-thousand.

The Speaker of the House and Senate President earn 30-thousand and 25-thousand in expense allowances.

Meanwhile....the Fono or legislature has asked for a lump sum of 4.5 million in the US territories 2003 budget.

The Fono's request consists of only one page and there is no detail of how the money will be spent apart that which will be used to pay the wages of 165 staff.

The amount requested is 2-hundred thousand dollars higher than the current amount.

The Senator and Fono's call for more money came as Governor Tauese Sunia presented a balanced budget.

He said that the balance was due to tighter controls on spending and the development of new revenue sources.