Myers: I have concerns
Former minister Lincoln Myers said yesterday he had mixed feelings about the increase in pension benefits.
Myers stands to benefit if the measures are accepted. His pension, and those of most of those who served in the NAR administration with him, would increase from $3,000 to $20,000 monthly if the bills are passed.
Myers, who served five years in the House of Representatives during 1986-1991, only began to receive a parliamentary pension last year.
In 2009 the minimum period for eligibility to receive a pension was reduced from six years to five years and it was only last year that it was implemented.
He said the remuneration of Parliamentarians, which was “much too low” needs to be raised. He said the benefits would be useful to many former MPs who have suffered over the years.
However he said he was “troubled” by the measure because it was not known what calculations were made in terms of how it would impact on recurrent expenditure. “From an economic point of view I have concerns about what it would mean,” he said.
Myers also said that the haste with which the bills were “pushed” through the Parliament and the alacrity with which they were dealt with suggested that not enough serious thought was given to the measures.
Myers said the need to find proper remuneration for those who offer to serve in the Parliament was a problem that had been festering for a long period of time.
He however stressed that one had to be conscious of what “we are burdening the State with because we cannot act as though we will always have the kind of largesse that we now have.”