Assembly’s opposition leader hails salary raise


25-June-2013

Mr Pierre during his meeting with President Michel yesterday at State House

His comments came after he visited State House yesterday for his monthly meeting with the head of state to discuss national issues which were of concern to the opposition.

Mr Pierre said he was satisfied at the President’s decision as it was one of the points he had raised in his previous one-on-one meetings.

“If the country is doing well economically, I believe the people of Seychelles deserve to reap the benefits,” he said.

He added that as the cost of living continues to rise, Seychellois workers needed their salaries to be adjusted in an equitable manner in order to survive, but he acknowledged that the salary adjustment needed to be in line with what the country could reasonably afford.

Mr Pierre added he was pleased that both public and private sector workers would benefit from the salary increase.

“We all buy our groceries at the same shops, whether you are a government employee or you work in the private sector,” he said.

Discussing his visit with the President in more detail, he said the two had discussed many different issues, which he believed were important for Seychellois people and the country in general.”

While Mr Pierre said it remained a high priority to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to help the country grow, he said he had expressed his concerns to President Michel that a balance needed to be struck between development and environmental protection.

As both issues were of equal importance, he said they needed to be looked at in parallel and the options weighed accordingly.
 
“You cannot allow development to come at the expense or the detriment of the environment, because we need to preserve our natural environment for the generations to come and equally importantly, to guarantee to the world that they can still come to visit Seychelles because we will still have the natural beauty around us,” he explained.

Mr Pierre said that improving public service within the health sector remained a key issue on the table.

“We have been receiving a lot of complaints about the quality of service in the public health system,” he said.

Mr Pierre called for a review of the services offered and a new strategy to be created that would allow Seychelles and its people to get the most out of the health system.

“We need to come up with a strategy so that people can say they are getting the service from the hospitals that they deserve.”

The police force was also a topic of discussion, according to Mr Pierre, who said that he believed the police needed to become more professional and respect the rights of the people.

“I know there is a situation in Seychelles where we have certain foreigners in the police force,” he said. “Yes, we do need them, but we also need to train them to understand the culture of our people and adapt and do their work in a way that respects that culture.”

Staying on security issues, Mr Pierre added that he was concerned by the apparent increase in crime, specifically incidents of theft and drugs coming into the country. He called for mechanisms to be put into place to address the situation.

“Crime affects all people, big and small, young and old, rich and poor, so I really think this is a problem that we need to make sure we control better.”

Mr Pierre said that although he and President Michel had certain differences of opinion, they had generally seen eye-to-eye on the subjects discussed.

He said he believed his discussions with the President were fruitful and important because it proved that the voice of the opposition, which represented a portion of the electorate, was being given respect and their views and concerns taken into serious consideration.

President Michel and Mr Pierre furthermore spoke about the work of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee (FPAC) of the National Assembly. Mr Pierre discussed the need to create a structure which would coordinate work of the FPAC and the Auditor General office in order to establish a greater level of transparency and accountability of financial management of the state.

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