22 Oct 2002

Aid funded redundancy programme in Solomons could mean more poverty

11:19 am on 22 October 2002

New Zealand's Council for International Development has expressed concern at redundancies in the Solomon Islands public service to be paid for by donor countries.

Around 13 hundred government positions are to go in an effort to help the struggling Solomon Islands government balance its books.

The New Zealand Government has indicated that some of its aid allocation for Solomons will go towards the redundancy exercise, while Australia and Taiwan are also expected to contribute to the seven million US dollar cost.

Rae Julian of the CID says while she recognizes the dilemma the Solomon Government is in, she is concerned the redundancies could lead to greater poverty.

"Especially if those people don't just represent one person and one family, many of them would represent a village with their public service income, they'd be supporting villages and villages in remote area. What we could be talking about is plunging rural areas into even greater poverty than they are in now."