Fiji Labour Party denounces the regime’s decision to award hefty pay increases, ranging from 46%-192%, to heads of disciplinary forces and permanent secretaries.
“This is outrageously immoral at a time when 60% of our workers earn below poverty line wages and almost half our population is reportedly living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table for their families,” says Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
These super salaries for just 28 individuals became effective 1st September 2013.
At the top range of the increase is the Commander of the Fiji Military Forces with a 192% pay hike, up from the current $75,849 to $221,894 (or $18,500 a month).
Similar increases are given to the Commissioners of Police and Correctional Services and Permanent Secretaries in the PM’s office, Finance, Education, Health and Works. For the other Permanent
Secretaries, the pay hike ranges from 46% to 164%. This is on top of other perks they enjoy.
Yet there is no salary increase for down the rank Police officers, soldiers, prisons staff or civil servants. Our information is that, at least in the Police force, there is a lot of anger over such discriminatory treatment.And rightly so.
The move is clearly self-serving and insensitive viewed against all the cuts that have lately been imposed in the name of “reforms”. We refer to the:
- slash last year in FNPF pensions by 50% across the board, leaving
95% of pensioners with a meager $400 or less stipend per month.
- removal last year of 500 recipients from the Family Assistance
Scheme – many of them widows, single mothers and the sick who
are now living in extreme hardship.