Cash call for S.N.P.F. bonus embraced
Members of the public and contributors to the Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) have embraced a Member of Parliament's call for the Government to pay July's promised seven per cent bonus to contributors in cash.
The call was made by Feleata West Member of Parliament, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi in Parliament.
Speaking during the budget debate, the Associate Minister of Communications and Information Technology challenged the S.N.P.F. to just pay the full amount in cash.
“The S.N.P.F. plays an important role for our people,” he said.
"I can see in the stimulus package by the S.N.P.F., there is $35m tala in the budget. Honorable Minister, maybe you could consider the idea of cashing out the full 7% to all the contributors.
“We are in times of crisis and our people need the money perhaps we could give them the 7% in cash and the other 3% in their S.N.P.F. contribution.”
On the streets, members of the public welcomed the idea.
"For me, as a member of the Faleata constituency, I fully support our Member of Parliament,” said Aukuso Ualesi, the Acting Principal of Vaimea Primary School.
“And as an employee, I believe it is a great idea if it is passed by Parliament, as we all know Samoans are all about money. So we really need it.”
Iosefa Tautua agrees.
"For me, I totally agree with Lealaipule,” he said.
“It is for the betterment of everyone. Right now, the number of unemployment is going up and with the virus still around we really need financial assistance. The last stimulus package I believe the other percentage went into our contribution while the other percentage was used to do our loans.
"So cashing it all out is such a great idea. Who knows, we might not get such help next year given that the election will be finished by then.”
But not everyone was quick to welcome the cash injection.
Ioane Malo says that decision should depend on the financial situation of the country.
"I am not saying that I disagree with Lealailepule or if I am siding with the S.N.P.F,” he said.
“I will only agree if the money that the Associate Minister is wanting to cash out is from a grant.
"But if it’s a gift from the Government then I will support it 100%, because it'll help with the state our country right now.”