Count us out!

BLP to donate pay increase to charity

The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) wants no part in the proposed salary restoration for Members of Parliament and parliamentary secretaries.

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In fact, BLP MPs have formally requested that the additional monies be forwarded to a charity.

Leading off debate in the House of Assembly this week on a no-confidence motion she brought against the Government, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley revealed that a resolution had been tabled by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to have the changes effected, retroactive to April 2016.

However, Mottley has cried shame on the move, saying the BLP was not prepared to accept any salary increase until laid off Government workers were given their outstanding pay.

Following a parliamentary caucus of BLP MPs and senators on Thursday, the party stated in a letter to the Treasury: “In event that such [the increase] takes place, we the undersigned request that any such increase be directed to such charitable institutions and/or organizations as shall be identified in writing by us, for application to the benefit of Barbadians in need.”

The BLP letter to Acting Accountant General Dane Coppin was copied to Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond and signed by its 12 elected MPs and
two senators.

In defence of the move, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy argued in Parliament on Tuesday evening that Government was merely seeking to reinstate the ten per cent which was deducted in 2014 as part of a cost saving programme.

“We haven’t got any increases; we only restituted what was there before,” Sealy said at the time, while suggesting that members on the Government side of the House should be commended for having accepting the pay cut in the first place.

Based on Sinckler’s April 15 resolution, the Prime Minister salary moves to $203,175.60 this year while that of Government ministers move to $152,382 and parliamentary secretaries to $147,926.28.

The remuneration of the Leader of the Opposition and Speaker of the House are also to be restored to $129,026.76 while that of Deputy Speaker goes to $78,520.56 compared to $96,783.72 for the Chairman of Committees. MPs pay goes to $60,038.88 and the salary of the President of the Senate moves to $78,520.56 for the year.

During Tuesday’s debate, BLP Member of Parliament for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds declared: “I want to wash my hands of that  . . . count me out”.

He said, “when the 3,000 [Government workers] that get sent home have been dealt with appropriately in law; when you have had wage increases in Barbados, then you could come and talk to me about that”.

He further condemned the increases as “something cold-bloodedly reprehensible, when the country is
on its knees.

He said the new pay schedule “is the most unconscionable thing  . . . when you have National Conservation Commission workers who cannot see financial closure to the agony that they’re enduring; when you have, as recently as December, young adults at the University of the West Indies turning up to do examinations and being turned back at the door on the morning of the exam because tuition fees have not been paid . . . and when people are going through that kind of agony because of the financial constraints facing the country”.

8 Responses to Count us out!

  1. Iteebah Cadogan
    Iteebah Cadogan May 14, 2016 at 3:18 am
  2. Meakai May 14, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Looks good. That is all that matters.

    Who cares if it is only a gimmick? No one can accuse the BEES of being insensitive to the plight of suffering Bajans. After all, we were only born yesterday.

  3. Loretta Griffith May 14, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    More and more I am becoming weary of politicians. I find my limited intelligence is being insulted.
    Apart from the insensitivity, how can a restoration be called an increase?
    I honestly feel integrity needs to be brought to politics. Politicians should not appear to encourage persons to lie or steal. The laws of the land should be obeyed or observed (whatever one choose to say). A country without rules, laws or regulations is considered ungovernable and can only be called a banana republic.
    I hope in the interest of the few wayward youths that can expect to see a higher level of decency and fair play being exhibited.
    If ever this country needs a revolution, it is now or like yesterday.
    Too many decaying morals especially from persons whom we expect better of. Stop playing to the gallery.
    Cannot believe this is the Barbados I grew up in.

  4. Johnathan May 15, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Loretta Griffith you sure don’t sound very intelligent . Are they getting higher salaries ??

  5. Maria Bentham May 15, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Well the politicians can’t seem to get by on their salaries let’s pause for a moment how do they think we are surviving I am a pensioner that they stole one of my pensions from they are eating Serloin i am can’t even say what I am eating what happen to the pensioners raise come on its about time you all think of who put you there

  6. Loretta Griffith May 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Johnathan as you are aware it takes one idiot to know the other.
    You were told I have limited intelligence. I rest my case.

  7. Damian May 18, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Increase or restoration….point is they getting more money, while other persons getting NONE…..where is the justice and consideration in that

  8. Loretta Griffith May 19, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    What is Johnathan saying now the Hon Leader of the Opposition say it’s a restoration instead of an increase? Comfort for the not so intelligent.


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