The National Democratic Party (NDP) is being called out for its hypocrisy over the ‘Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act 2021’, which is now being refereed to by some as the ‘Greedy Bill’.
This comes after the NDP’s Sixth District Candidate Myron V. Walwyn vilified the same legislation his NDP members did not object to in the House of Assembly (HoA) and is now calling for the Act, which was passed during the time of ex-Premier Andrew A. Fahie, to be repealed.
It is also now being revealed that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has been pleading with the NDP legislators, as well as the other two parties represented in the HoA, to have parts of the Act repealed; however, he has failed to garner their support.
At Large Representative Hon Carvin Malone
has revealed that Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable
Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) had been pleaded with the NDP legislators, as
well as the other two parties represented in the HoA, to have parts of
the Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act, 2021,
repealed; however, he has failed to garner their support.
‘Height of political wickedness & greed’
The controversial Walwyn, who is being investigated over the Elmore Stoutt High School Wall Project, was speaking during the NDP’s campaign launch at Sir Olva Georges Plaza on March 18, 2023, when he said the Act will be repealed immediately under the new NDP government.
“Diverting resources that could have been allocated to alleviate some of the pressing matters that I just mentioned, to the Retirement Package for Legislators is one that should offend the national conscience of every single person in this country…Act Number 15 of 2021, entitled ‘Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act 2021’ needs to be partially repealed immediately upon a new NDP government,” Walwyn said.
Walwyn stated he has no issue with the first part of the Act, which provides for the pension of legislators to be calculated on their full annual package, but that the second part of the Act “is the height of political wickedness and greed.”
“If a legislator has served three terms in the House of Assembly they will receive a gratuity in the amount of about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to three hundred thousand dollars immediately upon retirement if they are 50 years or older. In addition to this, the three-term legislator will receive his or her current salary every single month for the next three years just as if they were working,” Walwyn said.
This, according to Walwyn, is after years of doing absolutely nothing.
‘Who seconded that Bill? NDP- Hon Malone
Speaking on the Virgin Islands
Party’s VIP Let’s Talk radio show on ZBVI 780 AM and streamed live on Facebook
on March 21, 2023, Hon Malone slammed the NDP, noting that its members had voted in favour of the legislation and were the first to benefit from its passage.
Now, he noted, there are duplicitous conversations by the NDP surrounding the bill.
“Too many of them. Look at it, who seconded that bill? NDP. The NDP seconded the Retirement Package bill…Who approved it? All the ayes, no nays…Who benefitted first from it? Members of the NDP benefitted from it first. I’m wondering now whether or not they will be prepared to pay back the monies,” Hon Malone said.
He continued that now, having benefitted, the Party has the audacity to want to repeal it.
Progressive Virgin Islands Movement
(PVIM) Member in the House of Assembly Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and
Progressives United (PU) Member Hon Julian Fraser RA, did not object to
the Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act, 2021, Hon
Carvin Malone (AL) has said
VIP will fix it- Hon Malone
Hon Malone said since the change of government in May 2022, Premier Wheatley has been behind members to have parts of the bill repealed, but noted that the NDP, Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) and Progressive United (PU) have all said to leave it alone.
“And now you go talking as if this is the first time you heard this. It is amazing but the record is there. ‘Leave it alone’. Leave what alone? Leave the retirement bill alone. We don’t want to hear it. The people don’t want to hear it. Leave it alone…That part that they want repealed, it doesn’t affect me, I’m first term. It doesn’t affect you [Hon Kye M. Rymer], you’re first term. So, you repeal it now, I never had it,” Hon Malone said.
Nevertheless, the At Large Representative noted that the Virgin Islands
Party (VIP) will have the matter straightened out if re-elected.