Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says heads of government departments were given an increase in salaries recently to attract “the right people."
The increase which came into effect on September 1 is said to be based on a Price WaterhouseCoopers (PWC) assessment report.
The report also outlined the new salaries for the 24 permanent secretaries together with three disciplined service heads, ranging from $160,000 to $221,894.
“That is true. We are having elections next year. We expect the Australian and New Zealand governments to fully lift the sanctions next year, so we are able to attract the people, the right people, to fill those posts," Bainimarama said.
“We have to get the right people.
“A lot of the people want to come in but they can’t because of the sanctions so we have boosted the pays to attract these people.”
The new salaries are in place till the elections.
Meanwhile, the move has attracted criticism from political parties and trade unions including the Fiji Labour Party, the People's Democratic Party, Fiji Public Service Association and the Fiji Trades Unions Congress calling for justification. They labelled the move as discrimatory, and called for the rest of the civil service to be given immediate relative increase in their pay in comparison to the new salaries granted to the heads of government departments.