by Senator Ron Redhead
Senator Redhead rejects the announcement to hire a private firm to conduct an actuarial study for pension and gratuity payment.
The announcement made, that government will hire a private firm to conduct an Actuarial Study to determine if it can meet the demands by the trade unions negotiating pension and gratuity for public officers in the Throne Speech on 19 November 2018 at the ceremonial opening of the Second Session of the Tenth Parliament has not gone down well with Senator Ron Redhead, ahead of Budget 2019.
He said, “if the government has already stated that it cannot meet such a demand in relation to the 25% gratuity owed to Public Officers, why would it engage in spending scarce resources to conduct an expensive study, to which it already believes the economy cannot sustain?”
Financial companies, conducting such studies charge large sums of monies to complete and the time it can take for completion, may interfere with ongoing union negotiations.
The recent comments made by Minister for Trade, Oliver Joseph indicated that government is already aware that it cannot meet the proposals put forward by the unions. Senator Redhead believes the approach to hiring a private firm does not suggest a serious attempt on the part of government to meet its social and moral responsibility for retired Public Officers.
“It is simply to create another excuse why it cannot pay. Unless an attempt like this does not involve the World Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Local Fiscal Responsibility Oversight Committee it will not be a genuine move,” he added.
Senator Redhead continues to question the validity of the section in the Fiscal Responsibility Act which states Public Sector wages cannot exceed 9% of GDP since there seems to be no study to support it.
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