“Ministers’ Current and Past Salaries” Letter to the Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Islands Business) sent 4 July 2014
“The current and past salaries of Bainimarama and Khaiyum”
Letter to Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Island Business) (sent 4 July 2014)
As required by their own Electoral Decree, the political leaders of Fiji First Party have finally revealed the current salaries of Brig. Gen. (ret) Bainimarama ($280 thousand) and Mr Aiyaz Khaiyum ($180 thousand), the government’s Prime Minister and Attorney General respectively.
While these salaries are considerably more than what these offices were paid in 2006 (contrary to the promises Bainimarama made when he deposed the previous government), they are not particularly excessive by Fiji standards.
But now we know that the Ministry of Finance does have some numbers on Ministers’ current salaries.
Can the PS Finance (Mr Waqabaca), charged with the sacred responsibility of looking after tax-payers’ funds, now tell the taxpayers:
(a) What were the annual amounts paid for these Ministers’ total emoluments for each year since 2007 till now;
(b) If for some of these years the Ministry of Finance does not know their individual emoluments, please reveal the total sum paid to a private accounting company who he allowed to take over the responsibility of paying these ministers’ emoluments for a “fat contractual fee”, as was alleged in a letter by the late Archbishop Mataca and Mr John Samy in November 2011 (details of which can be read here).
(c) can he please also request his Minister of Finance to release the Auditor General’s Reports since 2007 so that the voters can objectively understand this government’s real financial performance, rather than what they choose to reveal to taxpayers, with the assistance of Qorvis (at the cost to taxpayers of at least a million dollars a year).
Bainimarama and Khaiyum have been asked these same questions before, but they have never responded, either to tax-payers or even to the late Archbishop Mataca, who is currently being effusively praised by Voreqe Bainimarama.
Of course, a few intelligent and concerned voters who might happen to attend the numerous campaign meetings of Fiji First Party, after first thanking them for the subsidized education, bus-fares and rural roads, can then ask these three questions above, so as to better understand the extent of the accountability of Fiji First Party, to the Fiji taxpayers.
Professor Wadan Narsey