Former Legislators Catching Hell! Premier Moving To Bump Up Benefits
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie says former legislators deserve better retirement packages and will be looking to make legislative changes to ensure it happens.
"While you come in here to work for the people you have to make sure that elected officials are held accountable, transparent, and give you value for money, but they also need to be rewarded for their honesty, not just with a vote," Hon. Fahie explained.
The Premier was speaking during the debate on a Motion to exempt Hon. Mark Vanterpool from vacating his seat in the House of Assembly as a result of his company, Onemart, being awarded a contract with the Government.
"We are moving to get legislation to address them so that persons who finished serving politics in the BVI will not be left as a pauper or left in chains on their hands and on their ankles because the system is set up that way and it is something that we overlooking for a long time that needs to be addressed. I am not talking about more money alone, but better retirement packages," the Premier stated.
Hon. Fahie shared that the basic salary of an Opposition Member and a Government backbencher is $36,000 per annum.
He said what helps is the allowances the legislator receives while in office, but when they are finished with politics, the retirement benefit is calculated on the $36,000 regardless of the length of time served.
The Premier shared that he recognises that the move is not popular in some quarters, but there are a lot of persons who served well that needs help.
"They served well, but they out there catching hell and the Territory has turned its back on the people that served them and some people feel that alright don't worry with them because when they were in there they went with some of our money," the Premier stated.
"Politicians would be afraid to address the issue, but if I am fighting for the people how could I leave the elected people out. We ain't people too?" the Premier questioned.
The Premier added, "It pains me when I see some of our elected officials that served and served well and they out there; they sick and need help and the system saying you can't do this and can't do that."