A WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS? SAMOA GOV'T CEO's ‘PIMP THEIR RIDES’
The Tautua Samoa Opposition Party has blasted the Government over the use of public money to “pimp their rides.”Speaking during their weekly press conference, Levaopolo Talatonu said these “rides” are easily costing taxpayers up to $7million a year. The Gagaemauga No. 2 MP called the elaborate spending “a waste of taxpayer’s dollars.”“It is very frustrating sitting in on parliamentary meetings and pleading with the government on the needs of our people, our constituencies and having the government reply by saying there is no money.“How can there be no money when outside government sectors and corporations is a line of wasted money?”Levao is referring to the government issued vehicles given to the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of government departments and corporations.“Almost every CEO drives around in a flash brand new fully-loaded Toyota Hilux double cab pickup truck. Quite honestly I don’t understand why,” said Levao.“There are four types of Hilux available at ASCO Motors, one at $80,000, $85,000, $90,000 and $110,000. These figures are for the vehicle only.”“Now, add the flashy bumpers, the bull bars, the rims, the tints, the covers and other fancy accessories and you come up with estimated cost of between $30,000 to $40,000 tala.“So you have a government-purchased vehicle of $110,000 plus accessories of about $40,000 tala and you have a vehicle with a total estimated cost of 150,000 tala.“So say for example there are fifty CEOs and each is given a $150,000 tala vehicle, that comes to $7.5 million tala on vehicles alone. And they say there is no money?”Levao said he is astounded as to why CEOs need such “expensive and flashy cars.”“That money could have been better invested into other areas in the country that desperately need attention,” he said.