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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SI Government is set to spend too much

Opposition Leader Fred Fono says the increased salaries and fringe benefits for permanent secretaries and MPs will drastically reduce government's capability to implement its widely publicised rural development plan.

In a statement Mr Fono says the increase to 91-thousand dollars a year for all permanent secretaries would cost the treasury two-point-five million dollars annually, whilst the salaries of MPs would incur about four-million a year.

He says government's decision to buy 46 brand new vehicles, 20 of which goes to government ministers and 26 to permanent secretaries for about 12-point-three-seven million dollars is pure extravagance.

Mr Fono says the opposition could not ascertain at this stage whether or not the vehicles are being purchased at concession prices.

But he says the Coalition for Change government extravagance is at the expense of social services.

Mr Fono says whilst government advocated a rural development policy focus, it has taken the opposite direction by awarding those huge salary increases.

He says with the increases, the payroll budget has increased to over 20-million dollars per year, and it's likely that inadequate funds would be left to improve health, education services and infrastructure developments.

Source: SIBC


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