By Alfred Sasako
MEMBERS of Parliament will get their Constituencies’ final pay cheques from Taiwan next week.
Insiders told Island Sun Taipei will dole out $10million as the final tranche for the 2018 financial year. Each Constituency would get $300,000.
The funds are part of Taiwan’s annual $100 million-plus budgetary support that the Solomon Islands Government receives from Taipei. Its primary purpose is to help create micro-economic activities in rural Solomon Islands.
Taiwan also operates a ‘slush’ fund which is separate from budgetary support.
The “slush” fund is administered by Taiwan’s Embassy in Honiara and is given out largely to Government politicians just before the Christmas break each year.
Taiwan’s budgetary funding assistance has attracted criticisms over the years, including accusations that the funding is the hotbed for corruption in politics.
According to this school of thought, Taiwan has not put in place mechanisms that would discourage the rampant misuse of its funding.
There are strong suggestions that many MPs used Taiwan’s funding to invest in real estate, particularly in building for themselves high covenant houses in Honiara and other urban centres.
Efforts by Taiwan that all funding is acquitted before the next tranche is released have often been met with open ridicule.
The demand for acquittals had led to delays in disbursing funds to MPs
Calls by ordinary citizens for equality, transparency and accountability in disbursing the funds have fallen on deaf ears.