Categorized | National News


The  government has received a  major backlash from the leader of the official opposition and a number of citizens who say that salary increases for Members of Parliament  should not be in the plan right now.  However, a few MPs said yesterday they see nothing wrong with the pay raises.

National Security Minister Marvin Dames said the context in which the prime minister made his comments seemed to imply a salary review across the board,  not just for MPs.

Mr. Dames said he believes that there needs to be a look at whether what MP’s are being paid here are in line with regional and global standards.

“I’m certain once that review has been made,  then some determination will be made,” Dames said.

Responding to if the economy can handle a salary increase,  Mr. Dames said he believes with all of the proposed legislation, foreign direct investment and economic stimulation that will happen over the next few months,  it could be the right time.

He added that if it is found to be unfeasible,  they will most certainly not proceed, as he says this government makes decisions with the people in mind.

Mr. Dames said a pay raise could also possibly help to root out corruption at the highest level.

“A part of the aggressive approach to rooting out corruption should be looking at salaries,  as we feel if you’re not being paid enough,  we will ensure that you are now paid enough so that there is no need for anyone to surrender to the temptation that we have seen in the past in connection with any number of MP’s,” Dames said.

He did add that being  underpaid  is no excuse for accepting bribes.

Minister of Works Desmond Bannister said the decision as to what the value of a member of parliament is worth should be reviewed by an independent party, similar to salary procedures for judges.

“Let me put it this way,  all the senior officers in my ministry make more money than me, every single one. All of them in the corporations  I run make more money than me. Now I’m not jealous of them making more money,  but I think that if I’m the minister there should be some consideration given to looking at how to properly facilitate ministerial and MP salaries,” Bannister said.

He added that he thinks that if the procedure is done by an independent commission the Bahamian people will be satisfied.

Leader of the official opposition Philip Davis said he is against salary increases and believes that the government should announce a strategic plan to improve the economic livelihood of Bahamians

Written by Jones Bahamas

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