Ruling party gets $200,000 from Legislative Assembly

The Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P.) will receive $200,000 in funding allocated for political parties under the Office of the Legislative Assembly budget for the 2020-2021 financial year. 

The annual funding is one of the major expenses under the Government Policies and Initiatives and will come from a total budgetary of $6.8 million for the Legislative Assembly. 

A sum of $60,000 was also earmarked as monetary donations for the funerals of former Members of Parliament.

It was not possible to get a comment from the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Tiatia Graeme Tualaulelei. 

He did not respond to questions sent through email. 

In those questions, Tiatia was asked if the earmarked $200,000 is appropriate, considering the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the local economy. 

In the previous financial year budget for the office, Tiatia had explained the rationale behind the allocation of $200,000 for political parties. 

He said at that time that there was only one official party recognised in the Legislative Assembly which is the H.R.P.P. and the allocation was a one line item that is appropriated to assist the development of political parties.

“Since there is only one recognized political party, an equal distribution of this fund is disbursed to every Member of Parliament including the three Independent members on an annual basis to assist with their electorates,” he said. 

It could not be confirmed if the distribution of funding to all Members of Parliament, including independents remains for the current financial year. 

At the time the Clerk said that current and former Cabinet Ministers are entitled to $10,000 while ordinary current and former Members are entitled to $6,000 for funeral gifts. 

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