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Govt. executives, Ministers pay raises on hold

The third phase of planned pay rises for Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliaments and Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.s) has been put on hold by order of Cabinet. 

The delays are according to a Cabinet Directive issued earlier this month. 

The cost of living adjustments (also known as C.O.L.A. increases) were first approved into law for all public servants — to start in their first salary in January 2019. They were part of the $19.4 million Supplementary Budget for Financial Year 2018. 

“[We will] place on hold the third phase of the C.O.L.A. scheduled for January 2021 for Government officials including Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliaments and Chief Executive Officers," says the Cabinet Directive signed by Agafili Shem Leo the Cabinet’s Secretary and Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“The directive is expedited in accordance with section 38 (1) of the Constitution of the Government of Samoa."

In 2018, Minister of Finance Sili Epa Tuioti stated the implementation of the C.O.L.A. began at five per cent increase for all personnel from Principals and below and a three per cent increase for all A.C.E.O. positions up to below CEOs."

“In January 2020, all Principals to below C.E.O.s will get another three per cent increase while a three per cent increase will be introduced for CEOs, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and members of the Judiciary."

“In January 2021, all public servants including members of Parliament will receive a final pay increase of two per cent to complete the implementation of the 2019 C.O.L.A..” 

At the time, Sili advised that the First Supplementary Estimates laid before Parliament, includes the first of three phases to implement of the C.O.L.A. for all public servants to commence in the first pay of January 2019.  

 “The implementation of the C.O.L.A. will begin with a five per cent increase for all personnel from Principals and below and a 3 per cent increase for all Assistant C.E.O. positions up to below C.E.O.s.  

“In January 2020, all Principals to below C.E.O.s will get another 3 per cent increase while a three per cent increase will be introduced for C.E.O.s, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and members of the Judiciary.  

“In January 2021, all public servants including members of Parliament will receive a final pay increase of two per cent to complete the implementation of the 2019 C.O.L.A.,” said Sili. 

Emails for comments to the Minister for comments on the new changes were not answered as of press time. 

The decision for the COLA comes in light of the increasing cost of living since the last COLA of 2014 which has eroded the purchasing power of citizens and therefore, in choosing the right path, the Government of Samoa has reshuffled many of its developments to be staggered into forward years so that the C.O.L.A. is prioritized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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