Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pensions compromise

 It is not illegal, definitely self-serving and unconscionable, in many ways unethical and above all enlightening. They acted with exemplary promptitude and salutary civility. Citizens, mulling this encouraging but rare display of the art of compromise in the Lower House, are caused to ponder if only matters of crime and corruption, good governance, ineffectiveness in the legal and justice system and inequity and social decay were given like prominence and treated with similar accommodation and alacrity, what a wonderful place this could be. Others, more cynically (and perhaps angrily) bemoan the impotence of not being arbiters of their own pension entitlements. But as an elder of the political class once explained: politics has a morality of its own. 

No one begrudges these honourable men and women, and they are all honourable men and women, fair and just remuneration for the awesome responsibilities they offered, voluntarily, to undertake. But we surely did not intend or expect them to conspire in overriding the institutional mechanism, the Salaries Review Commission (SRC), set up for the purpose and do their own thing. This is of relevance, given that the SRC made interim recommendations pending the critical input of an updated job evaluation. Clearly, these honourable, but impatient, men and women are laying claim to superior expertise in fixing retirement benefits. Hopefully, it is not an issue of mere expediency and is worthy of being shared with significant others.

Once more, the perennial plea for citizen vigilance in public affairs arises. Moreover, a formidable case is made for an additional choice on the ballot — NOTA (None Of The Above)!

Would that we survive the injudicious opening of this Pandora’s Box!  

Winston R Rudder

Petit Valley