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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Solomon Parliament passes 2007 budget in its third reading

The Solomon Islands parliament has passed the 2007 national budget in its third reading.

The nearly SBD$1billion dollar budget which was passed yesterday focuses on rural development.

It took more than two weeks to debate the budget in its second reading the Committee of Supply and finally passed yesterday in the third reading.

In other government businesses for this week, Prime minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Governor General's pension and benefits bill 2007 is expected to be read the third time today. Two other bills, the statistics amendment bill 2007 and the income tax amendment bill 2007 are to be read the third time tomorrow.

The Prime Minister will also move on tomorrow the motion of sine die - that parliament will stand adjourn on Friday February 23.

A motion of no confidence in the Prime Minister will also be moved in parliament on Friday being the Private members motion day.

Meanwhile, several government MPs are reportedly upset by comments by the Speaker of Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea.

The MPs intend to have Sir Peter removed after he advised members of parliament that it is unconstitutional to provide official vehicles to backbenchers chairing statutory authorities.

He reminded MPs of this after Infrastructure Minister, Stanley Sofu admitted in parliament that he had allocated vehicles to chairpersons of three statutory authorities.

Sir Peter reminded MPs that the only legal body to determine members’ terms and conditions is the Parliamentary Entitlements Commission.

Mr Sofu said the government has seen fit to provide the vehicles because previous administrations had done the same. He was answering a question from Opposition Leader, Fred Fono, who wanted to know why official vehicles had been allocated to the three backbenchers.

Source: SIBC

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