Salary confusion - Gov't submits three different figures for Ruel Reid's adviser
The Government has provided three contrasting basic salaries for Sharon Hay-Webster, an adviser/consultant to Senator Ruel Reid, minister of education, youth and information.
Reid informed the Senate yesterday that Hay-Webster's basic salary was $3,298,503, with $1,243,608 for travelling. However, a basic salary of $2,931,431 was submitted to the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.
On May 4, Reid submitted an interim list of consultants to the Senate in which the adviser's salary was outlined as $2,664,865.00.
Senator Lambert Brown asked: "You're saying that one of your advisers has received over 20 per cent increase in pay since the last time that you provided us in May?"
"What we had tabled before was the original submission, or should I say, the contracted amount that was sent to the Ministry of Finance for them to revise it on application. So she would be paid at the higher level as consultant three, based on her experience," explained Reid.
Reid continued, "[The] Ministry of Finance approved it at that level, so there's no change in her emoluments from the time that she was contracted."
Brown expressed dissatisfaction with the response and continued to press: "Is it an increase, or were we being misled with the first statement? One or the two? We need to know, Mr President."
Reid fired back by referencing the package of an education ministry consultant under the previous administration.
"Again, let us be very clear. The figure of $3.2 million is far less than the $5 million on basic salary that (Dr Franklyn) Johnston was being paid. Don't come here and grandstand!" Reid said.
Tom Tavares Finson told the Senate that he was not pleased with the inclusion of Dr Johnston's salary in the discussion.