18 Apr 2013

Increase in Solomons MPs' payout justified says head of entitlements body

7:11 pm on 18 April 2013

A fourfold increase in the amount paid out to MPs leaving the Solomon Islands parliament is being justified as necessary to meet resettlement costs.

The Parliamentary Entitlements Commission has approved the increase from 14,000 US dollars to 56,000 US dollars for parliamentarians finishing their four-year term.

The government must secure two point eight million US dollars to meet its obligation for the 50 exiting MPs, something the commission's chairman says parliament will need to debate.

But Johnson Siapu says there are many former MPs who could have done with the money.

"Today we have a very classic example of a former member of parliament who had served more than 20 years and had retired after the 2010 general elections - he is currently stranded in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands and cannot be repatriated home because there are no funds to assist him."

Johnson Siapu says MPs' charitable and discretionary fund, as well as their fuel and travel allowances, have also been increased.