The pension former Barbados prime ministers now get could be increased to resolve a legislative “anomaly”.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said the holder of the office of chief justice had a higher retirement benefit, and the Leader of the Opposition had a higher salary than the pension of former heads of government.
Saying this was one of the reasons he did not take current Opposition Leader Owen Arthur seriously when he said he was done with political leadership after the last general election, Stuart said he was told there was draft legislation to correct the issue.
He was speaking Sunday night at Queen’s College during an hour-long address at a joint meeting of the Democratic Labour Party’s St. James branches.
“As recently as last week public servants came to me telling me that this is a wrong that has to be righted, that the chief justice, when he retires, gets a pension based on his full salary and former prime minister’s do not, that chief justices are better treated than former prime ministers and that it is an anomaly that has to be corrected and that they have the legislation and want me to look at it,” Stuart said.
Barbados’ two living former prime ministers are Arthur and his predecessor, Ambassador to China, Sir Lloyd Sandiford.
He recalled Arthur telling him he was finished with political leadership, but the Prime Minister said he did not believe Arthur.
“They (the BLP) are walking around the place now trying to tell people in Barbados he has the answers to our problems. When he left office he said he was finished with politics at the leadership level. He told me so in the foyer of Parliament itself in the presence of witnesses, that he is finished with that,” he said.
“I did not believe him because I knew that there were still issues that remained to be fixed with the prime minister’s pension and I knew that the Leader of the Opposition’s salary is larger still than the pension a former prime minister gets.” (SC)