19 Nov 2010

Reallocation of Vanuatu MPs' pay open to abuse says Transparency

4:16 pm on 19 November 2010

Transparency International in Vanuatu says a legislative amendment that will enable money intended for constituents to be added to MPs' monthly pay opens the way for them to abuse the funds.

MPs currently receive about four and a half thousand US dollars a month but under an amendment to the Members Expenses and Allowances Act that's part of the budget being debated at the moment, will get an additional 17-hundred dollars.

The principal economist in the Treasury Department says that'll allow MPs to give money to their constituents without first having to seek official approval.

But Transparency's president, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says it's just an 83 percent salary increase.

"It was hard enough with the allowances to keep an eye on them for all the allegation of wrong allocation or themselves or only their close family but then it will be their own salary supporting their own little group, their own family."

Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says the government should be creating a system whereby people support the MPs who make good decisions, not the ones who give them money.