25 Nov 2002

Church leaders in Solomon Islands are calling for caution over reform programme

7:42 am on 25 November 2002

Church leaders in Solomon Islands are calling for the Government to exercise caution in its reform programme.

The Government is preparing to cut its salary bill by making hundreds of workers redundant.

But the Solomon Islands Christian Association says it must be careful not to unfairly victimise the already weak parts of society.

This report from Don Wiseman

"The chairman, Archbishop Sir Ellison Pogo, says the reforms must not happen at the expense of health and education services, which are already adversely affected."

He says the Government needs to consider other ways of cutting the payroll and must also reduce unnecessary payments, including those to Ministers and political appointees.

The Archbishop says the Government also needs to find ways of imnproving its revenue and this includes overcoming corruption and ineffective systems, such as the Goods tax collection.

And he says the police must do all they can to fasttrack their investigation of the Family Charity Trust scam.

Sir Ellison says a lot of innocent people are caught up in its cargo cult web.

He says SICA calls on all people who have succumbed to to the quick dollar scheme to reconsider their values and return to the virtues of honest heard work.