Categorized | National News

DNA Leader disapproves of MPs Salary Increase

Chris MortimerTo say that the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) leader Christopher Mortimer disapproves of members of the Free National Movement (FNM) receiving a pay increase is an understatement.

In a statement Mr. Mortimer sent The Bahama Journal, he wrote, “Not only were the Prime Minister’s comments sickening and tone deaf, but they wreak of hypocrisy and prove once and for all that Dr. Minnis is a far cry from the transformative leader he wishes us to think he is.”

In House of Assembly last week, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis informed Bahamians he will raise the salaries of members of his government at the next budget.

The Bahama Journal spoke with Mr. Mortimer about his sentiments regarding the Prime Minister’s declaration to which Mr. Mortimer said, “It has been a while since members of Parliament have received a pay raise, but the fact of the matter is, a parliamentarian still makes more than what the average person makes who works for government makes in a year.”

He continues, “The average person who works in a government ministry, they’re barely making $210 a week; $10 thousand dollars or $13 thousand dollars a year.”

In addition to minister’s annual salary of $28 thousand dollars, Mr. Mortimer stressed the fact that they also receive an allowance of $18 thousand dollars to run their constituency; “they cannot cry that they’re not being adequately compensated.” Mr. Mortimer said.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest clarified to The Journal the exact dollar amount to operate offices, salaries and expenses; he stated that it is $30 thousand dollars per annum.

Furthermore, in 2014 during the Christie administration’s overture  for a salary increase, in response to such desires, Dr. Minnis stated, “As long as I am leader of this country the FNM would not support any pay increase with all the pain and suffering that is going on in this country.”

Although such increase is not scheduled until the budget cycle next year, Parliamentarians’ salary raise is seemingly not sitting well with many Bahamians as they have questioned how can one ask for a raise after only being on the job for six months while the economy is at a standstill?

Mr. Mortimer expanded on the country’s economic crisis.  He stated, “The economy is teetering on the edge of a calamity.”

Referencing the FNM’s slogan during their campaign for office, Mr. Mortimer emphasized, “a  week marred by unprecedented reports of layoffs across both the public and private sectors  and during the worst economic crisis the country has ever seen when Bahamians are experiencing suffering at an exponential level.

“Clearly, when the Prime Minister said it was the people’s time, he was referring to members of  his government and not the wider voting public.”

He concluded, “how could this administration, after stripping so many Bahamians of their dignity,  think a raise for MP’s would be the appropriate way forward and what, if anything has this administration done to deserve a pay increase?” said Mortimer.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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