PM Browne considered to be lying on two counts regarding 14 percent increase to all parliamentarians

The Browne Administration has circulated the 2024 Recurrent
Expenditure for the Department of the Legislature – that is, the
Parliament; however, residents are still rejecting Prime Minister
Gaston Browne’s claim that Opposition parliamentarians were to
be included in the 14 percent salary increase received by himself
and his ministers.

Highlighted on the Budget pages are the Non-Established salary
estimates for the years 2023 and 2024, showing the latter figures
have been increased. However, without a narrative, the figures on
their own prove nothing, pundits say.

What is more telling, the critics note, are two separate circulars,
dated December 29, 2023, and January 17, 2024, signed by the
financial secretary and addressed to the administrative heads of
the various government departments, including the clerk to

Both communications followed the Budget Presentation and
Debate held in mid-December 2023.

Regarding the 14 percent pay raise owed to public servants who
are non-established employees, the December circular states
specifically that “this increase is not applicable to the following
classes of workers:

  1. Parliamentarians and Ministers….”
    Accordingly, the circular not only invalidates PM Browne’s claim
    that the raise applies to all parliamentarians, but also calls into
    question the raise granted to Government ministers, effective
    January 2023.
    Digging himself deeper into what many are calling a blatant
    deception, PM Browne claimed, in a radio appearance last
    Saturday, that payment of this raise to the Opposition Bench had
    been delayed by a “glitch” in the information relayed by the
    Parliament – ostensibly to the Treasury.
    However, the same circular states clearly that
    “ministries/departments/divisions are not required to process
    documentation to effect this increase as it will be processed by
    the Treasury Division.”
    Commenting on this glaring contradiction of the prime minister’s
    claim, a United Progressive Party (UPP) official would only say
    that “a great liar must have a great memory.”
    The January circular from the financial secretary, meanwhile,
    relates to documentation for contract workers to whom the pay
    increase would be applicable.
    In the meantime, Opposition Leader Jamale Pringle reiterates to
    REAL News that the Government giving its ministers this “secret
    salary increase” is unconscionable.

“Until the people are satisfied—that is, all public servants have
received their back pay and raises; all government pensioners
have gotten their increase; and the minimum wage has become a
‘living wage’ – no increases for any parliamentarians should even
be considered,” Pringle says.

He and his UPP colleagues have already agreed not to accept the
raise – should it be offered – under these circumstances.
REAL News broke the story, alerting the public to the secret
salary increase, last Friday, April 5.

Sources have confirmed that retroactive payments for the 14
percent hike have been processed for the prime minister and
other Cabinet ministers, as well as for the four senators who serve
as ministers of state.