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MPs' game of Me First, People Last

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Editor,

Tongan MPs should learn something from Tuvalu. I read on the Pacnews of 27 October that the Small island state of Tuvalu makes Big decisions like …“freeze on allowances and overseas travels of MPs until cash flow problems improve, said new Prime Minister, Apisai Ielemia. “When my government came to power, we put in place some measures that we think would improve our finances. ““These are allowances of all MPs, cabinet ministers and backbenchers have been frozen until such time our economy can cope with it. There is also a freeze on overseas travel for cabinet and civil servants.”

Mr Ielemia said allowances include the ban on the motorbike entitlements of all MPs. ““The speaker of our parliament has informed all our MPs through a circular of our decision. Another cost cutting measure is the tightening up of civil servants attendance and leave entitlements. “Already we have registers in all government ministries to monitor work attendance. The register has cut off time in the morning and if civil servants are not on time, then their salaries and wages are cut accordingly. The Tuvaluan Government has also requested its donor partners overseas to increase their grants to help the island’’s cash flow.

How much more “mamafa and kafakafa”” are MPs…’ responsibilities that warrants them to have a 60% increase? What happened to the accountability to the people who put them in the House? Or is it a game of ““me first, people last”. Come on MPs, Walk The Talk. It is a key issue for us voters/people — these are the very MPs that we voted to represent us, the MPs that promised to put the people first before his/her needs. Yes they got a nice 60% pay rise and what did you and I get?

Seini Pua Mafi