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Trinidad and Tobago Parliament Asks Itself For Pay Raise, Says Yes

Written by Janine Mendes-Franco On 27 June 2014 @ 19:38 pm | No Comments

In Caribbean, English, Governance, Politics, Quick Reads, Trinidad & Tobago

When two controversial bills are passed swiftly and unanimously by a country’s parliament, the alarm bells go off.

The passage, on June 13, 2014, of amendments to two parliamentary acts governing pension payments for legislators [1] and judges [2] in Trinidad and Tobago has been called unconstitutional [3] and a threat to the independence of the judiciary. Or perhaps, as Rhoda Bharath suggests [4], it’s a case of “Himself. . . passing Amendments to pay Himself and bypassing the enshrined Constitutional arrangements.”

In a post spiced with football analogies and references to the 2014 World Cup, Bharath recounts [4] the chain of events and the commentary surrounding the whole affair, adding:

 “I can’t say it’s illegal. . . . The [Salary Review Commission] has to clarify whether Pensions really fall under its purview. The Constitution’s language is too vague for me to say so convincingly. . . . What I can say is in light of the burden on our treasury and our numerous labour and employment issues this leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. . . and I’m giving you, Keith Rowley [Trinidad and Tobago’s leader of the Opposition], a devious cut eye on this one.”

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URL to article: https://globalvoices.org/2014/06/27/trinidad-and-tobago-parliament-pay-raise/

URLs in this post:

[1] legislators: https://globalvoicesonline.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=477840&action=edit

[2] judges: http://www.ttparliament.org/about.php?mid=36&id=mr692CF5

[3] unconstitutional: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/commentaries/Govt-and-next-govt-to-themselves-264681531.html

[4] as Rhoda Bharath suggests: http://rhodabharath.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/own-goals-and-pension-penalties/

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