Dr Jacqui Quinn supports higher pay for parliamentarians but blasts government over manner it was done

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Former Minister Advocates for Salary Increase for Parliamentarians

Former Education Minister Dr. Jacqui Quinn has expressed strong opinions regarding the recent salary increase for parliamentarians in Antigua and Barbuda, calling for a more equitable compensation structure aligned with regional standards.

In a detailed comment on Observer Radio, Dr. Quinn addressed various aspects of the salary increase and the broader context of parliamentary remuneration.

Dr. Quinn began by highlighting the disparity in salaries between parliamentarians and public servants, noting, “As a former minister myself and parliamentarian, I know for a fact that the salaries of ministers and parliamentarians generally in Antigua and Barbuda are amongst the lowest in the region.”

She emphasized the need for parliamentarians’ salaries to be comparable to those of chief executive officers (CEOs), given their roles as policy heads and constituency managers.

Regarding the 14% increase given to parliamentarians, Dr. Quinn acknowledged the justification behind it but questioned its implementation.

She remarked, “How did this government justify giving themselves a 14% increase one time in one fell swoop and making it retroactive to January 2023, but the hard-working public servants got 5% in staggered increments?” Dr. Quinn suggested a more phased approach to the salary increase, similar to what was done for public servants.

Dr. Quinn also addressed opposition within parliament regarding the salary increase, stating, “I’ve heard some opposition parliamentarians saying they don’t want it. Just stop the nonsense. You deserve it and you should accept it because right now you’re working for a pittance.”

She urged all parliamentarians to accept the increase and focus on efficiently fulfilling their duties.

Furthermore, Dr. Quinn emphasized the importance of parliamentarians demonstrating professionalism and competence in their roles.

She stated, “Once you get this increase, we expect you to do your jobs with efficiency and competence, show up when you’re supposed to show up, work hard for the people who are paying for you, show yourselves worthy.”

Dr. Quinn’s remarks come amidst ongoing discussions about the remuneration of government officials in Antigua and Barbuda, with calls for fair and equitable compensation reflective of their responsibilities and contributions to public service.

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