Politicians should be paid $200,000 to $300,000 a month, tax free, in order to attract the best and brightest.
Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA) president Dominic Hadeed, speaking at the First Citizens Investment Services Annual Budget Seminar at the Hyatt Regency (Trinidad), port of Spain yesterday, said that politicians were "underpaid".
According to Hadeed, if politicians were better paid, "nobody in the private sector would be able to hold on to their CEOs. The best and brightest would want to go inside there and they would make a better effort. If people are asking how can we afford that pay that amount... it is still less than what is squandered, stolen or wasted in the system. Law-breakers should not be law-makers."
He added that politicians could never ask for a raise, so it was up to the private sector to make that request on their behalf, calling on his fellow Chamber heads to look into it.
"Once (politicians are) earning a high salary, then you would see a difference in the type of people who come out for politics next time around. We as the private sector should push for a raise for them," said Hadeed.
He added that there was need for political reform, and proposed a two-term limit in governance.
"This government has shown that they are going in the right direction...we would like you all to continue what you are doing... since you all are finally listening to the private sector. Please also include this on your to-do list while the economy is stable," he said.