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FIJI: PSC Clarifirs Interim Ministers Salaries

19th October, 2000

PSC CLARIFIES INTERIM MINISTERS SALARIES

The Public Service Commission is deeply concerned that information, leaked out to the media on the emoluments of Ministers in the Interim Administration, has given a false and misleading picture of what is actually being paid.

The first point that needs to be stressed is that the emoluments package for the Ministers in the Interim Administration has been set by the PSC which is an independent authority.

It has not been set by the Ministers themselves in Cabinet. So there should be no misunderstanding about the authority which is responsible for setting emoluments for Ministers in the Interim Administration.

The PSC has taken on this role because the Independent Emoluments Committee appointed by Parliament to set emoluments for the President, the Vice President, government ministers and members of Parliament and Office holders in Parliament has been dissolved with the abrogation of the 1997 Constitution.

On the emolument figures, what should really be compared is the net take home pay.

It is misleading to compare gross salary figures. This is because Ministers in the People's Coalition and in previous governments had in their emoluments structure allowances that were tax-free.

For the Ministers in the Interim Administration however the PSC has structured the emoluments package basically with one element the salary.

This is why the gross salary figures for Ministers in the Interim Administration are higher than gross salaries in previous governments.

However, when one compares the net take-home pay on a fortnightly basis for example, the actual picture is as follows.

The former Prime Minister in the People's Coalition government received a net pay on a fortnightly basis of $2,901,93 whereas the Interim Administration Prime Minister received a net pay on a fortnightly basis of $2,786.18 and after the 12.5% reduction, got $2,522.79.

Likewise, the Deputy Prime Minister in the People's Coalition government received a net pay of $2,343.50 compared to the Interim Administration's Deputy Prime Minister, who received $2,227.74 and after the 12.5% reduction, got $2,011.29 on a fortnightly basis.

In addition, the Attorney-General in the People's Coalition government got a net salary of $2,239.55 compared to the Attorney General in the Interim Administration who received $2,213.79 and after the 12.5 % reduction, had $1,916.75 in salary on a fortnightly basis.

Moreover, the Ministers net salaries differed with the Peoples Coalition government with $2,189.46 compared to the Interim Ministers who received $2,073.63 and after the 12.5% pay cut, got $1,872.94.

Similarly, the Assistant Ministers in the People's Coalition government, received a net salary of $1,643.32 whereas the Interim Administration Assistant Ministers were paid $1,527.57 and after the 12.5% pay cut, received $1,387.85 in their net salaries.

-end-

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