2 Sep 2009

Call for development funds to be removed from Solomon MPs

4:19 pm on 2 September 2009

A former Solomon Islands parliamentarian says the rural constituency development fund should be removed from members of parliament.

Walton Naezon says other funds should also be removed including the Millennium Fund, the Macro-Fund, and the Rural Livelihood Fund.

Mr Naezon made the suggestions at a public forum in Honiara organised by the Political Parties Integrity Bill Committee to collect views from the public about the political party bill.

He says MPs have been elected into Parliament to be legislators and not to be funders.

MPs get 120-thousand US dollars each from the funds which are paid for by the Taiwanese Government and the European Union.

The money is meant to develop the rural areas of Solomon Islands.

But Mr Naezon says since the introduction of the funds, MPs have lost their integrity, especially when they fail to honour requests for assistance from their electorates.

He says cabinet ministers and MPs tend to worry more about the funds than attending meetings of parliament and cabinet.