Photo: Titikaveka MP Selina Napa and Ivirua MP Agnes Armstrong
Two more Democratic MP’s have volunteered to undergo pay cuts to show solidarity with the community struggling through the economic storm wrecked by Covid-19 the world over.
Titikaveka MP Sel Napa and Ivirua MP Agnes Armstrong have both stepped up and offered to have their salaries reduced by 15 percent. The paycut which will remain in place for the next three months is over and above what the two women already contribute to their respective constituencies.
Both have followed the example of Democrat leader Tina Browne and are opting to have the savings from their pay directed to their constituency fund. “I have 1,500 people in my constituency, so I have chosen to do what our leader has done and use my 15 percent extra contribution to help my community as we fight to keep our beautiful country free of Covid-19,” says Napa. Napa says after three months she will review the pay cut and make a decision whether it will continue.
‘I am grateful that Tina made this something we can choose to do or not. That was very fair and so I’ve made a decision based on my conscience which told me that whatever more I can contribute to my community is a good thing to do at this uncertain time.”
Meanwhile Ivirua MP Agnes Armstrong says she is happy to contribute not only to her constituency, but to all the people of Mangaia over the next three months. “Whether they are living here in Rarotonga or in Mangaia, we are all affected! My door is open to all, I would be happy to help anyone where possible. This is not a time for politics, this is a time to give back to our people, we are one people in the same storm.”
Armstrong says she was taken back by the suggestion by Finance minister Mark Browne in response to Tina Browne’s 6-month pay cut announcement that because MP’s already contribute some of their pay to helping their constituencies, “there isn’t the need to do more. I disagree.”
“As members of Parliament, that’s exactly what we are supposed to be doing, helping our constituencies, and our people as a whole, it’s what we pledged to do when we entered into politics, so I’m doing what I can at this time.”
Both Armstrong and Napa say they hoped Cabinet would also take a pay cut and heads of ministries earning over $80,000 a year to demonstrate that they’re standing with our people and that “we really are all in this together.” –
All three women MP’s have announced they are volunteering to undertake pay cuts over and above what they already contribute to their constituencies.
Written by Florence Syme-Buchanan