On 4 July 2014, Frank Bainimarama announced he receives a total income of $278,750. On 3 October, he brought in the Parliamentary Remuneration Decree 2014, giving himself a pay increase of $328,750, two days before the sitting of the first Parliament since his 2006 coup
The flat base salaries inclusive of all allowances of the President, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians have been set and gazetted under the Parliamentary Remunerations Decree.
According to the decree which came into effect last Friday, the President gets a non-taxable salary of $130,000.
The Prime Minister has a total package of $328,750; the Minister for Finance gets $235,000, while the Ministers for Health, Education, Infrastructure and Transport get $200,000.
The salaries of other Ministers is $185,000 while Assistant Ministers receive $90,000.
The decree states that the Speaker of Parliament has a total salary of $150,000.
It has also been confirmed that the Leader of Opposition will get $120,000.
Other members of parliament will get $50,000.
The allowances and benefits for the President and the Prime Minister include free furnished residence with all services and staff, an official car with driver, free telephone services, free internet connection at their residence, FNPF contribution, 4 weeks leave which must be compensated if not utilised, free accommodation and meals for all local travel, first class overseas travel and may be accompanied by spouse, overseas travelling allowance calculated at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 50% together with $300 per day incidental allowance and all costs to be reimbursed for local or overseas medical treatment as required.
The Leader of Opposition gets an official car with a driver, an official mobile phone, internet connection at home, 4 weeks leave which must be compensated if not utilised, free accommodation and meals for all official local travel, business class travel for official meetings and overseas travelling allowance calculated at UNDP subsistence allowance plus 50% together with $150 per day incidental allowance.
These salaries are set until such time parliament by resolution determines any remuneration under the decree.
Ro Teimumu Kepa
The decree said when setting the salaries, parliament must regard the need to achieve and maintain fair relativity with the levels of salaries received by persons in the private sector, the salaries must be competitive so that persons of the right calibre are not deterred from stepping forward to lead the country, the salaries must be transparent with no hidden components or perks and the need to be fair to the persons whose salary is being prescribed and to the taxpayer.
A section in the decree also said that when setting the salaries, parliament must take into account any prevailing economic conditions based on evidence from an authoritative source.
It also said that parliament may set the salaries at a rate lower than it would otherwise have set.
Parliament may amend a determination at any time while it is in force to deal with any new matter that was not dealt with at the time at which the determination was made. Story by Vijay Narayan