LETTER: Time for Antiguans and Barbudans to Recognize the Value of Adequate Ministerial Pay

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
OPM Photo: CABINET OF ANTIGUA MEETING LAST WEEK

Dear Editor,

It is time for Antiguans and Barbudans to grow up. Sly J always says that the national disease is bad-minded-ness and while I agree, I think it goes deeper.

We have to add ignorance. It is amazing that in a country that has had free education for generations, we still have so many people who are functionally illiterate, unable to think and reason.

Is $10,000 any kind of money to pay a government minister who actually works seven days per week from about 5am to late into the night? Many MPs on both sides will tell you that constituents call them or visit their homes from early in the morning.

They have constituency and government issues to deal with all day. So, this is not about ABLP or UPP.

This is about a Minister, who is in charge of managing ministries and the government. They are managing a whole country.

But aside from that the Minister is the CEO – Chief Cook and Bottlewasher – he is accountable. When anything goes wrong whether it be roads, hospital, electricity, water – it is the Minister.

CEOs and General Managers in the Private Sector – in banks, Communications Companies, Hotels etc earn a minimum of upward of $18,000 to $20,000 plus perks.

The National Parks Commissioner makes upward of $18,000 and the CEO of the Tourism Authority makes $20,000.

The CEO of company where government owns 51% of the shares makes $40,000 per month. LIAT pilots were earning a minimum of $20,000 per month and working a few days per month.

So, Ministers of Government are overseeing staff who make double their salary.

This makes no sense. Plus those Minister who have wives have to find money to but the prerequisite dresses and gowns for all the functions they have to attend.

The male can get away with 2 suits. A woman cannot.

And we expect these people to represent us by portraying the very best image.

If we expect to attract the best people to manage our affairs, we have to pay them properly.

When we pay them properly and they do not function, then we justifiably vote them out.

Denzil

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