4 Jan 2008

A huge pay day for members of Northern Marianas House of Representatives

12:50 pm on 4 January 2008

Members of the Northern Marianas House of Representatives have given themselves a huge pay raise and the maximum budget allowed under the islands' constitution.

The Saipan Tribune reports that the House has cut funding of departments including the Marianas Visitors Authority and boosting the House budget from four-pont-six million US dollars to nine-point-15 million

Included in the House budget are annual salary increases for members of 155-thousand dollars instead of proposed 60-thousand, submitted by Governor Beningo Fitial.

The House also proposes paying the House Speaker 250-thousand instead of the proposed 175-thousand dollars.

The budget must be approved by the Senate.

Antonio Muna, a financial consultant to the governor says the House budget reflects a 'take-care-of-me-first' type of attitude, which is unsatsifactory.