LEADER OF government business in the House of Representatives, Phillip Paulwell, says he is disappointed with the poor attendance record of some members of parliament at committee meetings.
Paulwell noted that the leadership of most committees reside with the Opposition, which has the responsibility of convening the committee meetings and ensuring that members are properly informed about their sitting.
"I now intend to have discussion with the leader of opposition business to discuss these matters," Paulwell told The Gleaner.
Paulwell noted that there are 63 members in the House of Representatives and, thus, if there are members who feel pressured, they can advise him and be relieved of such duties.
Delroy Chuck, the man with whom Paulwell intends to speak, has said there is oftentimes a reasonable explanation for people missing committee meetings.
Said Chuck: "A number of persons serve on several committees and regrettable, especially members of the Opposition and members of the Government. They have their personal challenges in terms of many of us having to earn a living. The Parliament salary can't keep us alive and many of us do engage in other entrepreneurial or professional activities, and oftentimes attendance to these committees have been short-changed."
He also said it is sometimes "extremely challenging" for rural MPs to journey to Kingston for a one hour committee meeting.
A member of parliament who is not a minister earns $3.4 million per year. He also get travelling allowance of $420,000 per year, subsistence allowance of $43,200 and chauffeur.
In addition, they are paid a constituency expense of $960,000 and constituency travel (rural members of parliament - $248,400; urban members of parliament - $124,200). Senators are paid a stipend of $ 17,000 for each meeting they attend (House or Committee).