The increase in salaries for Fiji Members of Parliament will cost $4.1 million (US$2.05 million).

This has been confirmed by the Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad.

Prasad said the increase in salary for parliamentarians is the first-ever undertaken over eight years, and represents only one percent increment for most ministers or three percent for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers.

He said if the MPs pay hike is further adjusted for the COVID-19 20 percent pay-cut, the increase in salaries for parliamentarians will actually cost $1.4 million (US$2.05 million).

Prasad said the Coalition Government acknowledged that people were not adequately informed about the pay hike, and there should be a reasonable period of public consultation on increase in salaries for MPs in the future.
“The vote taken last month on parliamentary pay rises was deemed as deeply unpopular. We are not blind to the commentary in the mainstream media, on social media and planned protests and the petitions.”

Prasad said there should also be ample time for deliberation by the Members of Parliament, given their ability to vote for their own pay.

To ensure transparency in the future, Prasad said the review of parliamentarians’ allowances and salaries should be determined by an independent Emoluments Committee appointed by a resolution of parliament.