They’re worth every penny of it. What do you think?

November 27, 2010 at 12:29 am (Papua New Guinea) (, , )

Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor From: The Australian November 27, 2010 

 PAPUA New Guinea’s MPs have voted themselves a 52 per cent pay rise, immediately before adjourning parliament for six months. They will earn $32,000 a year, compared with the average income per head of $1400. Prime Minister Michael Somare will earn $105,000 a year after Thursday’s vote. Opposition MPs walked out when the new Public Services Minister Moses Maladina proposed the pay hike, as urged by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. The commission comprises the Prime Minister, parliamentary Speaker, Opposition Leader, Chief Justice, and heads of the departments of personnel management and of labour and employment. The pay hike, based on a review by US-based consultancy the Hay Group, will cost an initial $13 million, including backpay for last year. The MPs’ pay rise came after a report was published by Care Australia this week saying PNG was suffering a “chronic humanitarian emergency”. RELATED COVERAGE PNG awarded ‘Golden Chainsaw’ Adelaide Now, 25 Oct 2010 Power from PNG a distant dream The Australian, 16 Sep 2010 PNG power line sparks Origin’s interest Daily Telegraph, 15 Sep 2010 Somare jets off after cementing rule The Australian, 22 Jul 2010 Grand larceny robs PNG of millions The Australian, 11 Jun 2010 Julia Newton-Howes, the chief executive of Care Australia, said a survey in PNG’s eastern highlands showed that about 191 babies die in every 1000 live births – compared with fewer than five in Australia. In the Yelia region those surveyed earn on average under $40 a year. People in more than half the 260 households surveyed had eaten only one staple food – sweet potato – in the previous day. Ms Newton-Howes said: “What little government-funded services they have access to, seem to make very little difference to their lives.” Australia will this year give PNG $457m in aid.

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