Olo says Prime Minister's salary cut is an 'insult'

Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, has appealed to the Government not to reduce the salary of Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi.

The appeal from Olo comes after the Sunday Samoan publicised a Cabinet decision, which revealed that the Prime Minister’s salary has been cut from $187,500 to $182,070 per annum.

It was not possible to obtain a comment from Prime Minister Tuilaepa yesterday.

But the revelation alarmed Olo.

“This is where the Government should apply common sense,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“The Prime Minister has been a public servant for many years and this is what he gets in return? A reduction on his salary? 

“This is an insult and this Tribunal recommendation should not be considered at all.”

Olo is known for his views against the Government’s performance but cutting the Prime Minister’s salary has not gone down well with him. 

 “I am not speaking as a politician, rather I speak as a citizen of this great country, considering the accomplishments and how far Samoa has come since independence if anything, his salary should at least be $300,000. 

“I know for a fact the $5,000 reduction is peanuts to the Prime Minister, but still the reduction is an insult not only to him but also to the country. 

“He has numerous commitments not only is he the leader of the Government, but he’s also Head of Parliament; he’s the Chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, the Patron for the Samoa Fa’afafine Association; the current Chairman of the Pacific Island Leaders Forum. 

“In Parliament, Tuilaepa is the Leader of the House as he is the Leader of the party in Government, and as identified in Standing Order.” 

Asked to elaborate on him describing the Prime Minister as the Leader of the House, he said: “Under our new standing orders since our election into office, any Government Bill may be presented to the Assembly by the Prime Minister as Leader of the House and it’s clear under the Standing order of Parliament for our sitting this term. 

“On top of that the Prime Minister also advises the Head of State.” Olo went on to point to “numerous Ministries” that Tuilaepa oversees. 

For instance, he oversees the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Public Service Commission, Legislative Assembly, Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Ombudsman, Samoa Law Reform Commission, Ministry of Police and Fire and Emergency Services Authority,” said Olo Fiti. 

“That is why I resent the move to reduce the Prime Minister’s salary.”

According to the M.P. the Prime Minister has given his life to serve the people in his numerous capacities and that should count for something. 

Furthermore, Olo Fiti stated that Tuilaepa has been in office for 18 years. 

“If anything where common sense does apply, the more years you put in as your service the more money added to your salary not the other way around,” he added.

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