Samoa Opposition question temporary halt of Seasonal Work Scheme

The temporary halt of the Seasonal Work Scheme in Samoa has drawn a lot of criticism from Opposition Members of Parliament this week.

MP Lea’ana Ronnie Posini expressed concerns about this issue citing the Scheme has helped a lot of families in the country reports Radio Polynesia. 

He said this can affect people’s opportunities for their work overseas. Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio explained the decision was finalized by Cabinet for a temporary period and cited a number of concerns factored into their decision. 

He said people are being taken advantage of and to the extent of being exploited but made it clear the Government does not intend to terminate the scheme but the halt is for one month. 

Adding that the rationale behind ceasing the scheme on a temporary basis is to allow the Cabinet to review the conditions on the safety of the Samoan people working overseas. 

Parliament heard the government will conduct an overall review of the processes involved in sending people overseas.

Cabinet Minister Olo Fiti Vaai cited another concern is due to the high turnover, especially the professional engineers who have left their jobs to join the RSE scheme.

He said another factor is the living conditions of Samoan workers overseas but the government is also mindful of the importance of the scheme to the economy of Samoa. 


Photo courtesy Parliament of Samoa/Radio Polynesia