“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
On Friday, 28th November 2012, I listened to the second sitting of the House of Assembly attentively to hear the plans of this new PNP government. I was traumatized and shocked at the same time, to see the first major discussion by an elected government in these islands for more than three years was over “ministers’ salaries”! Is this where the PNP government’s main priorities lie, and not with the poor people of these islands who elected them to govern?
The Honourable member for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill took ungratefulness to a complete different level. Before thanking the people of this community for electing her to office and providing her with a very fine paycheck, she took that opportunity to complain about ministers’ salaries, and what vehicles they should be driving. I was left wondering if this honourable minister was for real when she said that just over $11,000 per month is not enough for ministers to live on!
Cabinet ministers in our neighbouring country, The Bahamas, make $70,000 per year when compared to the Turks and Caicos Islands where Cabinet ministers presently make between $150,000 – $165,000 per year. As a result, Turks and Caicos government ministers make $80,000 per year more than their counterparts in The Bahamas, which is a much bigger country. And in Jamaica, government ministers make $60,000 per year. Under the PDM government from 1995 – 2003, government ministers were paid just under $62,000 per year, which included their allowances.
My question to the honourable member for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill is did you run only to collect a good pay check and enhance yourself, or to better the lives of the people who elected you to office? We never expected such a statement, since the average Turks and Caicos Islander works for $5 per hour, resulting in just under $900 per month! Furthermore, we have hard working men and women all around this country working two jobs and still cannot make a decent monthly salary. And to add insult to injury, they have mouths to feed, mortgages and utilities to pay and now VAT. Bear in mind that VAT is a direct result of your past PNP government’s mismanagement, and not the British as you so much want us to think.
This in itself demonstrates to the people of these islands what your main priorities were. We understand the desperation of your campaign in begging your constituents to please vote for you and to do whatever they feel with the other five votes.
I beg you to please pause and reflect on what greed did to the last PNP administration.
Quincy Jamy Edward Williams