Temporary halt of the Seasonal Work Scheme questioned in Parliament


The temporary halt of the Seasonal Work Scheme has drawn a lot of criticism from Members of the opposition in 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. 

He said this can affect people’s opportunities for their work overseas. Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio took the floor and 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. 

Furthermore for the government to 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.