No monthly ministerial salary contributions to the Children's Life Fund charity were made for two years. It was only within the last six months that the salary deductions started going toward the children's charity fund again.
In a Cabinet minute dated May 3, 2012 entitled "Contributions from Salaries of the Prime Minister, Ministers of Government and Parliamentary Secretaries towards the Children's Life Fund", Cabinet took note of the June 4, 2010 agreement that "with effect from June 1, 2010, the salary of the Prime Minister be reduced by ten per cent and the salaries of Ministers be reduced by five per cent with the sums by which such salaries have been reduced being placed in the Children's Life Fund".
The note though, went on to state that "any variation of the terms and conditions, inclusive of salaries of the Prime Minister, ministers of Government and parliamentary secretaries, should follow the procedures laid down in the Constitution; in addition, payment of reduced salaries to ministers and parliamentary secretaries will have a negative impact on the retiring benefits accrued to the affected persons".
Former Finance Minister Winston Dookeran had then reviewed the information and directed then that the Ministerial accounting officers treat with the deductions individually.
This though had not happened since 2010.
This Cabinet minute also agreed to "vary its decision" recorded in the June 4, 2010, which included the percentage deductions.
Instead the Cabinet minute decided "reinstate all salaries to the level prior to the reduction, update pay records to reflect the reinstatement of salaries and other adjustments".
The Cabinet note further stated that the first and only deduction and payment to the Children's Life Fund that was made at the end of June 2010 be returned to the Ministers.
Dookeran, in an interview with the Sunday Express said he did make that decision two years ago and the deductions would only take place when the accounting procedures were put in place.
Current Finance Minister Larry Howai, in a telephone interview last Saturday, said he was unsure of whether the individual ministries did in fact put those accounting processes in place.
Geoffrey Lewis, chief executive officer of the Life Fund, in a telephone interview last Thursday, confirmed that no contributions had been made by the ministers for two years. He said the children's charity only began getting deposits from individual ministries "in the last few months".
"I cannot say for certain how many months, but it is only within this year," he said.
"We are only now getting checks from ministers, but we are keeping a record so that they can file their own taxes and write-offs because I'm not sure if the internal accounting has been put in place," he said.