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Pay increase for PM, MPs coming
Moves are afoot to increase the salary of the Prime Minister and all other MPS. This, as the Salaries Review Commission (SRC) begins a review of the terms and conditions of office-holders under its purview, including MPs. Leader of government business in the Senate, Public Utilities Minister Emmanuel George, tabled the Ninety-Sixth Report of the Salaries Review Commission yesterday.
An April 3 circular letter issued by the Parliament confirmed the review of salaries. “We are advised that this matter will be the main subject under consideration when the House committees of both Houses meet later this month,” the letter said.
The Parliament also issued a questionnaire, which it said “seeks to obtain data primarily on the quantum of time Members of Parliament spend on parliamentary duties. The information sought will assist the committee and our researchers in the preparation of a comprehensive proposal for the consideration of the Salaries Review Commission.”
The circular letter told MPs the committees were “interested in hearing from you and in obtaining your opinions and suggestions.” MPs are asked to complete and return the questionnaire by April 13. They are being asked to say how many hours a week they spend preparing for a sitting and how many hours they spend at sittings.
The last pay hike for ministers and MPs was in 2006, when the Prime Minister’s salary was increased to $48,000 a month; Cabinet ministers’ salaries increased to $33,00 a month and non-Cabinet ministers to $27,000. The Leader of the Opposition moved to $23,800, MPs (non-ministers) increased to $14,000 and senators (non-ministers) $10,500.
The Government has been facing protests for several months from public-sector workers who were opposed to a limit of five per cent on their salary increases. The Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union secured a nine per cent increase in salary for workers at Petrotrin and the National Petroleum Marketing Company, and the Industrial Court awarded a similar increase to the union for workers at T&TEC.
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