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Imbert: Fire Salaries Review Commission
Diego Martin North/ East MP Colm Imbert has called on President Anthony Carmona to fire the Salaries Review Commission (SRC). Imbert made the call in the House of Representatives on Friday during his contribution on a motion—Adopt the 98th Report of the Salaries Review Commission. He stressed that there was a wide disparity with the salaries that the SRC had recommended for MPs, “ordinary members of Parliament” and Cabinet ministers, but Government MPs were afraid to say so.
The last salary increase for MPs and senior officials was implemented in 2005. The SRC had recommended that a Cabinet minister’s salary increase from $33,000 a month to $41,030, while MPs and senators should be given $17,000 instead of the $13,000.
Imbert pointed out the chairmen of the Integrity Commission, the Equal Opportunities Commission, Law Revision Commission and Law Reform Commission were applicable to a monthly salary of $28,720, a service allowance of $5,050, a housing allowance of $7,740, transport allowance of $3,900 as well as entitlement to medical attention, treatment and prescribed drugs at any healthcare facility.
“All of these chairmen of commissions get salary, housing, subsistence, transport, service and full medical attention when Members of Parliament do not.” He cited one disparity in which the SRC had recommended the salary of Niherst’s president and head of Nalis be increased to $31,950, while the police commissioner be paid $31,080. Imbert said while the commissioner is charged with the responsibility of managing and disciplining 7,000 officers in the TTPS, the head of Niherst and Nalis would take home more than the CoP.
Imbert demanded that Carmona dismiss the SRC. “You go and live the lie,” he told Government MPs. “You know the Salaries Review Commission is incompetent. You know what they have done is wrong and unlawful. You know they should be fired, but you are afraid to say so. You are weak.” Imbert said it was weakness on the part of the Government to give into pressure, whether it came from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, or external forces on what people would say if parliamentarians are properly paid.