TWO political parties have raised concerns on the pay rise given to permanent secretaries and heads of the disciplined forces.
Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand confirmed the pay rise and explained the reasons for it.
However, in a statement yesterday, Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said: "No amount of explanation by PSC can vindicate the outrageously massive pay increase awarded to heads of disciplinary services and permanent secretaries."
"The explanation offered does not add up when viewed against the manner in which appointments to senior positions in the public service are being made since April 2009."
Mr Chaudhry said as far as the FLP was aware, the merit principle was not applied anymore.
"How can these massive increases be justified in the face of widespread poverty among our people and considering that 70 per cent of Fiji's workers are paid below poverty line wages?
"The salary hike is a big blow to the deputy secretaries and heads of departments, as well as subordinate officers who collectively keep the ministries and departments running.
"This is exclusive pay rise for 27 special people in the public service.
"It has completely distorted the salary relatively between the different grades of officers and widened enormously the gap between the top, middle and bottom ranks."
National Federation Party general secretary Vishwa Nadan asked who would check that the permanent secretaries have vacated their homes.
"Who will do the policing as far the permanent secretaries losing certain benefits is concerned? What is going to be the position of the houses occupied by them? Will they have to vacate them or pay rent?"