Thursday, February 22, 2018

Low performance, bigger salaries

A new mantra has been sung which is “ole talk beats performance anytime”.

Low performance equals increase in salaries, a formula that is applied in Trinidad and Tobago only for a selected few. For the rest of us, we must pay our taxes to support this luxurious life for these individuals as those who were elected to serve only serve themselves.

Parliamentarians and judges cannot justify an increase of 200-500 per cent in their pensions given the state of the country. I am still trying to decipher what a prominent British lawyer meant by “members of the retired judiciary have fallen on hard times”. Clearly the good lawyer’s definition of “hard times” is an insult to the population as these retired judges receive tax-free pensions with double-digit figures and whom, even while they were employed, did not pay any taxes.

In addition, the judges’ widows will receive 85 per cent of their pension after their death. Then we wonder why we have dysfunctional institutions and a country that is crying out for justice at all levels.

What precedent are they setting if both bills, the Judges Salaries and Pensions (Amendment) Bill and the Retiring Allowances (Legislative Service) (Amendment) Bill are passed? Some members of the judiciary even went further to state that there is “no constitutional impropriety” in the proposed legislation.

Well there is a “constitutional impropriety” when the majority of the population pay taxes their whole working life, only to get a meagre $3,000 a month for the rest of their lives!

Barry Mohammed

San Juan