Successful candidates will be charged with passing laws, solving the problems of the nation, acknowledging the concerns of the people, and having your actions scrutinised by members of the public.
On the flip side, a great salary along with entitlements and perks are given to the nation’s leaders to help them do their job.
As candidates head into the home stretch of the 2014 campaign, here’s a list of what’s in store for those who will win the most votes in their respective constituencies.
1. Salaries – Compared to the average worker’s income, Parliamentarians make some decent cash. Here’s the rundown (all figures are annual rates and subject to tax):
- The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, $105,000 a year
- Deputy Prime Minister, $95,000
- Cabinet Ministers, $85,000
- Leader of the Opposition, $85,000
- Members of Parliament, $50,000
2. The Prime Minister is entitled to first class air travel when available, with paid accommodation at a “premium” hotel. Additionally, the PM is provided with an official residence at home free of rent and with free electricity, with domestic and gardening staff.
3. All MPs are entitled to a non-taxable transportation allowance of $3000 per year. The PM and his/her spouse are entitled to a government vehicle with a driver at all times for both official and non-official purposes.
4. Free use of telephones for all Parliamentarians, with local and national calls paid for by government.
5. All MP’s are entitled to a clothing allowance of $5000 after being sworn into office.
6. Daily meal allowances, often in the range of $100, when travelling to places such as Hawaii, Europe, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and the Middle East.
-- Compiled by CINews staff