“Previous Governments and persons who served in previous Governments – some of whom are today trying to scandalise this initiative – had the responsibility to settle this matter once and for all,” the Premier said in a May 20, 2021, statement.
“They did not deal with the matter. They felt it was a “hot potato” no matter when it was dealt with. They felt it might not be good for their re-election. As a matter of fact, they are now spinning it that we have done it thinking that we will not be re-elected. So, they sidestepped the issue and left it for someone else to deal with.”
Hon Fahie said every week he would receive calls from former legislators who have served, asking once and for all to address this problem and said since taking office, however, his administration has had to deal with several issues that could be considered 'hot potatoes' by many persons.
Some of the issues he said included the regularisation of persons who were in the territory for years, the turning around of the traffic in Road Town, and the starting of the repairs to the Market Square amongst more issues.
"But, in terms of this one, this is not the only issue of remuneration and compensation that they have run away from. There are others."
As part of his statement, Hon Fahie said the benefits for judges is another issue that has been 40 years overdue and addressed by his government.
“The judiciary has been complaining that the packages were inadequate and not sufficient to attract the desired talent in the numbers required. And this is an important issue because judges face a lot of constraints when they enter that profession,” he said.
Hon Fahie said there are limits to what kind of work retired judges can and cannot do, hence the need to have good packages that are fair.
“The situation with legislators is very similar. When you are a legislator especially there are Good Governance standards and where your Government has further strengthened the Good Governance systems, you cannot engage in any business activity as if you are not a legislator and as if you were a private citizen,” he said.
While the Premier was clear that it is not a salary increase, he hinted that the government would not have increased its salary given the current COVID-19 climate would not be the right time for such.
According to the Premier, “So you cannot expect legislators to serve, be unable to freely engage in business activities – cannot bid on projects because of perceptions, and then after they have given a lifetime of service, you send them off with nothing to take care of themselves until they die.”