Don’t go there, Mia!

A Government minister has taken umbrage to a suggestion made by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley that the Freundel Stuart administration was seeking to  “feather its own nest” with the restoration of a ten per cent pay cut to parliamentarians and other senior Government officials.

Mottley had made the remark before leading members of her Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in a walkout of Parliament Tuesday, in protest of the move to restitute the salaries to pre-2014 levels.

In response Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Stephen Lashley said: “I certainly have a problem with the Leader of the Opposition pointing a finger at me, as an honourable member of this House, and claiming that I am being part of a parliamentary act to feather my own nest.”

Making his contribution to the debate on the Government resolution, which was eventually approved by the House in the absence of the Opposition members, he accused the BLP of “having spun an abuse of the truth in this House”, while insisting that the matter was a mere pay restoration and not any increase in salaries as had been suggested.

For this reason, Lashley called for a public apology from Opposition Leader Mia Mottley and her team while charging that they had not only misled the House, but the entire country on the matter.

Lashley argued that the resolution should have been a simple matter, but lamented that it had become the subject of political partisanship on the part of the Opposition.

“Unless we confront it, the members of the public will get the impression we are in this House voting salary increases for ourselves,” he cautioned fellow members on the Government side.

The ten per cent pay cut for parliamentarians and other senior Government officials came as part of an austerity package announced by Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler back in December 2013.

At the time, a number of new taxes were also imposed, and some 3,000 public workers sent home.

Suggesting that the austerity period was now over, Lashley said “all that is before the House is to restore the salaries of the members of parliament, including the Cabinet”.

While pointing out that on the basis of a legal amendment made years ago Government was prohibited from increasing the salaries of public officers without the agreement of the labour unions, Lashley challenged the Mottley to show by what legal means the Stuart administration had hiked parliamentarians’ salaries, as the Opposition leader had claimed.

“The Leader of the Opposition is getting involved in guerrilla warfare tactics. If you stand up in the House, and you make a position known that the Government is giving itself and all parliamentarians a salary increase, then the Leader of the Opposition should point to the instrument [legally empowering Government to do so], because the Government cannot come in here and give salary increases just like that, “ he stressed.

9 Responses to Don’t go there, Mia!

  1. Vonda January 25, 2017 at 2:31 am

    What about the Public Workers before you all

  2. hcalndre January 25, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Without the 10% that you are saying that you`ll can`t live with out, what about the workers that were sent home and can`t pay the bills, buy the necessary things for their families, tax refunds from 3 yrs ago, have you taken these things into consideration? You`ll can still live more that happy without the 10%. What about all the freebies wunna get. Wunna can say when wunna want the 10% and take it but the poor people of barbados got to grin and bear it and suck salt until whenever.

  3. Tony Webster January 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Look up de dictionary, for “disingenuousness”.

    If not happy, and you are tempted to believe that this action is “merely” to pay due regard to the ” temporary” nature of the 10% reduction in parliamentarians’ emoluments…go read the “Arthur” constitutional amendment …which, inter alia, said no reduction may be made to ipublic sector employees’ emoluments..WITHOUT THEIR AGREEMENT. Therefore, such an argument is specious; self-serving; a convenience; and patently disengenous too! Parliament could, legally, pass an act TODAY…to reduce their emoluments by 50%….PERMANENTLY.

    Where, exactly, is the Pride? The Industry? Or even…The Shame?

  4. Jack de Ripper January 25, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Austerity measures are now over? Why then keep imposing tax after tax on the poor folks of our island?

  5. Nathaniel Samuels January 25, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Short man, the fact is you will be getting an extra 10% added to your salary. There are others who have been discarded by your government who have not yet received what is theirs. There are public servants who have not had a raise for many years. Deal with those first then we can consider what you say you are entitled to receive.
    Next year you will get your pension after your two terms in the House; something that should be looked at since public servants have to wait until sixty-five, I think, to get theirs. Man, you are way off base.

  6. Swink January 25, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Is this restoration accompanied with back pay?

  7. David Hall January 25, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    This minister is sick in his head. Bottom line is that government ministers don’t need approval from any union, nor to submit proposals to raise or restore salary, and that is exactly what they have done. How can a minister getting over 10, 000 a month claim that he needs to get back that those extra hundreds while people still suffering? Stupes!

  8. Helicopter(8P) January 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    What powers and what roll does the Senate of Barbados play in relation to the general public? Is it a figurehead organisation or a public service identity?

  9. Nathaniel January 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    The mps and ministers did not increase or raise any salary. This is poor reporting by the media and downright dishonest by the power hungry opposition. These people voluntarily gave up 10% of their salary – there was hardly any stories about that in the Nation newspaper, they then agreed to extend the period for which they would have the salary cut, now they are back to the status quo and there is a riot? The response of the NUPW president has been disappointing but not surprising.
    Let us be fair , there are set salary scales for al public officers – there has been no salary increase for mps in the last 8 years – those are the facts.


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