Prime Minister, Dr the Rt.Hon. Keith Mitchell has revealed the creation of a broad-based advisory committee to provide technical advice to Government on the pension issue.
The committee is expected to examine the implications of the pension matter and make specific recommendations to Government within 3 months on what every stakeholder must/can do to ensure survivability and economic sustainability of the country.
The 5-member committee is chaired by economist and experienced global public servant, Dr Spencer Thomas and includes economists Dr Kari Grenade and Dr Patrick Antoine. Former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice and former Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Sir Dennis Byron is also a member of the committee. The fifth person is a representative of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Wendell Lawrence, OBE, who is a former Financial Secretary in St Kitts/Nevis and has wide experience in regional financial and economic matters.
The reinstatement of the public sector pension by the recent High Court ruling creates an enormous financial burden and the Prime Minister has indicated that, “Unless we manage the process well, and set out a viable road map under which the state could meet its obligations, it can completely derail the economy, sink thousands into dire poverty, set us back many years and cripple future development plans.”
In addition to the work of the committee, Government has also begun engaging stakeholders to ensure broad consultation on this critical pension issue.