Councillor wants increased allowances for colleagues

Islands, Normal

The National- Tuesday, January 18, 2011

 A COMMUNITY leader in East New Britain has slammed the monthly allowances paid to councillors in the province.

Rapolo ward councillor in the Rabaul district John Milapapa said parliamentarians and councillors carry the same mandate, having been voted by the people in their respective wards and electorates.

However, he said their monthly allowance was a joke and peanuts compared to what parliamentarians got monthly.

Milapapa claimed to speak on behalf of the 19 ward councillors of the Balanataman local level government. 

He said councillors had found it difficult to survive on their K100 monthly allowance.

Milapapa said councillors’ allowances in the past 10 years had not increased and with the increasing price of goods and services, the monthly allowance could  not sustain their daily living.

He said what they got could barely sustain their family needs, including school fees, food and for other needs.

Milapapa asked why parliamentarians could vote themselves a hefty 52% pay rise. 

Milapapa suggested that if the pay rise had been conducted by a Hay Group Consultant in 2008, the same group could also conduct a similar review on the base salaries and monthly allowances for councillors  of the 89 districts throughout the country.

He said there was a huge gap in the past decade on remuneration for councillors and an increase in Consumer Price Index by more than 53%.

Milapapa said the current councillors’ wages did not compensate for the work they did in dealing directly with the people.