Opposition Members of Parliament yesterday walked out of Parliament in protest of a move by government to restore the salaries of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and MPs back to the amount they received before 2013.
Finance Minister, Chris Sinckler, tabled the Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries remuneration and allowances order 2016, and said that contrary to popular belief, the move is not just to increase the salaries of Ministers and MPs.
He said, “members of Cabinet agreed after much debate that those salaries, in keeping with the recommendation from the Ministry of Finance for 19 months and then extended for an additional 12 months, should be restored.”
In response, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley slammed the move, while noting that the just released Central Bank economic review states that a reduction in wages and transfers would help government to cut its deficit in the current account. She also told the House the order is sending the wrong message to Barbadians. “Now we can’t turn around and ask Bajans in the same breath to tighten their belt again, because when we lead, we have to lead from in front. And they will believe that not only are we not leading from in front, but that the Parliament is simply trying to feather its own nest and ther est of them are literally tightening the belt to the point where they can’t breathe anymore.”
The opposition MPs then left the Chamber, refusing to take part in further debate on the bill.