Scale down high salaries

Bahamas Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson
Bahamas Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson

NASSAU — The “high” salaries of executives at several government corporations are hard to justify due to the agencies’ financial woes and need to be scaled down, Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson said yesterday.

Gibson pointed to the salary structure at the National Insurance Board, the Water and Sewerage Corporation and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation in particular as being unjustified.

“When you look at Water and Sewerage, BEC and National Insurance, I believe all of their executives … make if not $100,000 a year, it wouldn’t be far from that.

“I would venture to say the executives perhaps, the minimum is $90,000 to $95,000 a year. Cabinet ministers only make $66,000 a year.”

Gibson said he has recommended that the government carry out an assessment of salaries at public corporations to see how those payouts can be brought down.

Gibson said he also wants to make it a requirement for these agencies to seek cabinet or ministerial approval before they can pay executives more than what is outlined as acceptable.

“I think what happened over the past years, individual boards were able to increase compensation and salaries for executives at these various corporations which really put them out of whack.

“What they did is compare them with each other for a while and started comparing them to the private sector. When they looked at the private sector to compare them to they compared them to entities that were making millions of dollars.

“These corporations are not making millions of dollars. We are trying to see how we can keep the cost of living down. The only way we can do that is to keep the cost of running these corporations at a bare minimum.” (Nassau Guardian)

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