The government’s vehicle shopping spree for Associate Ministers worries the new Member of Parliament for Salega East, Olo Fiti Vaai.
The third Member of the Tautua Samoa Party says such spending is wasteful, pointing out that there are better ways to spend taxpayers’ monies.
“I don’t know why they need brand new vehicles,” he said.
“Most of the vehicles that were used by the former Associate Ministers are new vehicles and the new associate ministers should be able to use them.
“What is wrong with that?
“The way I see it is that they are just on a shopping spree for new vehicles and everyone is rushing in to grab a new vehicle.”
Olo said Members of Parliament should look at ways to benefit the people first, instead of enriching themselves through public resources.
“Everyone took an oath to serve Samoa to the best of their ability. I believe they should prioritise the development of the country instead of this stuff.”
“The car is just a carrier from A to B; don’t waste the government’s money because we are trying to pay our many debts.”
Referring to Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Olo said the Associate Ministers should follow his lead.
“One of the good examples was set by the Prime Minister in 2007,” said Olo.
“During the road switch in 2007, the Prime Minister continued to use his old vehicle. He did not change it until 2011. That is good leadership, someone who places the needs of others first.
“As Members of Parliament, we should look at ways to benefit Samoa. People voted for us to be here to help them, not help ourselves.”
Olo said that when an Associate Minister asks for a brand new vehicle, that immediately shows their priority.
“There is nothing wrong with the old vehicles and I believe they should be using those vehicles instead of spending thousands of tala of new vehicles. This is unnecessary and it’s a waste of money.”
Olo also said the Ministries should allocate the vehicles instead of the Associate Ministers dictating the kind of vehicles they want.
“Think about the money that is being spent on these vehicles,” he said. “They get free gas, maintenance and everything is paid for.
“They should ask for what they can afford but not what they know they can’t afford.”
Olo reminded that the country’s foreign debt is $1.5billion and this will continue to grow with such behavior.
“Lastly, those vehicles are government vehicles, they are not for your family members to drive to the beach or to the bars.”