The National – Tuesday, November 30, 2010
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
A COUNCILLOR from the Southern Highlands said the K50 he received as a monthly allowance from the government was a joke.
Former council president for Lake Kopiago local level government and current councillor for Kopiago station Tom Pakale told The National in Mt Hagen yesterday that councillors and national parliamentarians carry the mandate of the people, but their monthly allowance was a joke compared to what MPs get.
Pakale, who claimed to speak on behalf of 16 other councillors back in the remote Southern Highlands’ Kopiago district, said the councillors were finding it very hard to survive on a K50 allowance with the increasing prices for goods and services.
He said councillors in this remote district spent K60 on PMV fares one way into Mendi to collect their monthly allowances.
Pakale said they would spent K120 to travel long distances just to collect K50 every month, which is a joke and an insult to the councillors.
He said councillors were grouped in the third tier of government and lived and dealt directly with the people and, therefore, faced more challenges and headaches than national parliamentarians.
But their allowance did not commensurate with their responsibilities.
Pakale said it was not fair to the councillors when parliamentarians, provincial administrators, chief judge, deputy chief judge, chief magistrate and others classified as appointed officers, who were on good pay and privileges, had a pay increase by 52.08%.
He said for fairness, all councillors must paid K150 or K200 a fortnight.
He said they too have families to look after and children to send to school.