Majority against MPs pay rise

Saturday May 25, 2019 Written by Published in National

More than three quarters of Cook Islands’ voting population will not vote for Members of Parliament (MPs) who award themselves a 45 per cent pay rise, according to an independent political poll conducted by Cook Islands News this week.

 

The poll which addresses some key national issues took the views of a sample of 100 randomly selected electors provided from the national telephone directory.

Among the issues raised in the poll were the proposed increase in parliamentarians’ pay, seabed exploration plans, road safety and the potable water project.

Asked if they would vote for MPs who award themselves a 45 per cent pay rise as proposed by deputy prime minister Mark Brown, 78 per cent said “no”.

Fifteen per cent responded “don’t know” while a mere 7 per cent said they would vote for MPs who award themselves a pay increase.

The poll also addressed the much debated issue of seabed mineral, asking people if they would support the taking of minerals from the seabed belonging to the Cook Islands.

Fifty six per cent were against the idea while 21 per cent supported the taking of minerals from the seabed. Twenty three per cent responded “don’t know”.

On road safety, the poll asked respondents how they and their families would commit to a crackdown on speeding, drink-driving and the wearing of helmets on motorbikes.

Sixty one per cent responded that they would not drink and drive, not speed and would not ride a bike without a helmet. Twenty-one per cent said they would not drink and drive while 10 per said they would not drink and drive as well as not speed. Five per cent said they would not ride a bike without a helmet, while 2 per cent responded to “not speeding” only.

The water disinfection issue also drew some interesting responses. The poll presented the respondents with five alternative water disinfection options – ozone, UV, chemical (e.g. calcium hypochlorite), electro-chemical (e.g. Anolyte) and no disinfection.

A majority – 42 per cent – said they preferred no disinfection, while 31 per cent said they supported UV treatment as their favoured alternative water disinfection.

Twelve per cent chose chemical treatment such as chlorine, 10 per cent opted for electro chemical, three per cent ozone and a per cent each said they “don’t know” or “more research is needed” in regards to water disinfection options.

Of the 100 people that took part in the independent political poll, 58 per cent were females while the remaining were males.

The dominant age group was 25-34 years (30 per cent) followed by 35-44 (18 per cent), 18-24 and 46-54 (16 per cent), 55-64 (11 per cent) and 65+ years (nine per cent).

The poll had 77 per cent of Cook Islanders as respondents, 15 per cent New Zealanders, three per cent Fijians, and a per cent each from Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Scotland and Vanuatu.

Of the 77 per cent Cook Islanders, 84 per cent were enrolled to vote in Rarotonga, almost eight per cent in Aitutaki, four per cent in Atiu and a per cent each from Rakahanga, Mangaia, Mauke and Mitiaro.

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