The Parliamentary Emoluments Committee has recommended allowance increases for overseas travels for government ministers, the Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition and all MPs.
In a report tabled by the committee Chairman Brij Lal after getting submissions from the FijiFirst, SODELPA and NFP, the committee recommends that the Prime Minister’s overseas travel allowance be set at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 250% plus $600 per day.
The Prime Minister’s current overseas travel allowance is set at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 50% plus $300 per day.
The committee has also recommended that cabinet ministers overseas travel allowance be set at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 200% plus $500 per day.
Their allowances currently stand at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 50% plus $250 per day.
It has also proposed that overseas travel allowances for the Speaker and the Leader of the Opposition be set at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 100% plus $300 per day.
Their current allowance is set at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 50% plus $150 per day.
Increases are also proposed for Assistant Ministers and MPs.
According to the committee’s report, the value of the Fiji dollar is minimal compared to the US dollar, Euro and British Pound.
The committee says the cost of hotels, meals and transport is very high in many countries when travelling abroad, particularly at the official venues that are chosen for international meetings.
It says the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers are expected to host networking meetings with their foreign counterparts.
The committee says these are added expenses currently footed out of the pocket.
It says the networking meetings provide significant added value to participation at these international fora.
Increases in allowances for accommodation and meals have also been proposed from $150 per day to $350 per day for those living beyond 30 kilometres from the meeting venue and $30 per meal.
Business class trips for MPs going on official trips have also been proposed for trips exceeding 6 hours from the first flight time.
It is also proposed that the committee sitting allowance for MPs including Assistant Ministers increase from $80 per day to $200 per day.
Mileage allowance increases have also been proposed.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Emoluments Committee Brij Lal said that the committee is not recommending any salary increases for parliamentarians as the nation is still recovering after Tropical Cyclone Winston.
However Lal says there is a proposal to have an adjustment to the MPs allowances to reflect the roles of MPs in their various functions.
He says they have seen the hardships faced by MPs and these adjustments are necessary to ensure that they are given adequate support in pursuit of their duties.
The committee is made up of Brij Lal, Jone Usamate, Alvick Maharaj and Mikaele Leawere.
Debate on the Parliamentary Emoluments Committee report will take place on Thursday.
MPs Proposed Allowances
MPs Justifications for Allowances
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