Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has described statements by Member of Parliament for St. George’s North-East Mr Tobias Clement in relation to his parliamentary salary as unfortunate.
Addressing Tuesday’s post-cabinet media briefing the prime minister said if Mr Clement had asked him before he made the statements he would have advised him that it would be an unwise statement. He noted that Mr Clement’s statements are ill-informed and no parliamentarian should send out messages that their commitment in parliament is about payment. That, he indicated, is the type of message Mr Clement has sent out to the public, which makes him look as if he was expecting a lot more money.
The prime minister pointed out that as a Member of Parliament one must understand whenever they are going to parliament, what the rules are. He mentioned that when he became a member of parliament he knew that he was neither Leader of the Opposition nor a minister of government. He received eleven to twelve hundred dollars a sitting but he never made any noise about it because he knew that he hadn’t gone there for the money.
The prime minister, therefore, believes that Mr Clement has sent out an unwise message noting that while there are some faults in the process, he wonders if Mr Clement’s statement is not meant to be a public relation stunt.
Dr Mitchell pointed out that if Mr Clement feels that the money he is receiving is not enough and wants to give it back he would advise him to go into his constituency and find a couple of needy children and make his contributions to them. He hopes the Member of Parliament doesn’t pursue the path he has adopted.
In addition, the prime minister said he had previously given indications of the appointment of a three-member team that would review the parliamentarian salaries. However, according to him, no one has as yet been appointed. He indicated that whenever one is dealing with parliamentarians’ salaries, considering some of the issues that workers are facing, the government wants to be very careful that they don’t send the wrong message that they are out there trying to take care of themselves and ignoring workers.