The Parliament of Vanuatu had its budget increased through a parliamentary amendment yesterday.
The amendment on Procedure and Legislative Affairs was presented by the Minister of Finance, Johnny Koanapo.
When the 52 Members of Parliament initially received the Appropriation bill, Procedures and Legislative Affairs had a total budget of VT554, 386, 570.
But the amendment on Procedure and Legislative Affairs increased this figure to VT649,579,890.
Deputy Leader of Opposition, MP Charlot Salwai asked the Minister of Finance through the Chairman — Speaker Gracia Shadrack, whether this increase caters for the benefits of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament.
“Yes, i can confirm that this increase is for the benefits of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament,” Minister Koanapo affirmed.
Daily Post published an article on three Deputy Speakers of Parliament writing to the Speaker’s Office, requesting an increase in their salaries earlier in September.
They are: Member of Parliament for TAFEA Outer Islands Edward Nalyal (Second Deputy Speaker), Malekula MP Assang Sannick (Third Deputy Speaker); and Tanna MP Nakou Natuman (Fourth Deputy Speaker).
According to the annual salaries of the Deputy Speakers of Parliament, the First Deputy Speaker is entitled to VT5 million annually while the Second, Third and Fourth Deputy Speakers are entitled to VT1.8 million each.
With the increase, each Deputy Speaker will have equal benefits.