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LETTER OF THE DAY - Tivoli commission exposing our hypocrisy

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:I am still hopping mad at that Radio Jamaica report on the tens of millions of dollars being spent on this Tivoli Commission of Enquiry. However, I got even more upset when two lawyers who were talking about this said that the amount being paid to these people is reasonable. One even claimed that we were getting "value for money".

You know, if it is one thing that I cannot stand its hypocrisy. What on earth is the lead commissioner, who is supposed to be getting around $50 million dollars for only three months' work, going to do with all of that money - buy his island when he goes home? Many of the other members are getting millions - and for what?

I don't understand it. It is being said that these people are being paid what they are worth - in United States dollars. How is it that these same lawyers who are making this claim don't also pay their helpers, gardeners and maids "what they are worth", too, in United States dollars?

Did you know that a maid in the United States earns more than an information technology professional in Jamaica? Which Jamaican maid you know can buy a house or a car? These hypocrites!

As it is the Government who has the final say in the remuneration of the members of this commission - they too are exposing their hypocrisy. How is it that they consider the salary of these commission members as reasonable, but they can't see the same for their own workers? Why don't they pay the civil servants the same that they would have earned if they were working in the United States? Or is it that these civil servants aren't worth it?

I know that it will be said that our civil servants are getting paid based on the laws of supply and demand. Our lower-level civil servants get their chicken-feed salaries because there are too many of them on the market and, as such, the State can always afford not to pay them much, as an unsatisfied worker can always be replaced.


How then is it that this same law of supply and demand doesn't work for lawyers, too? Our island is bursting at the seams with lawyers. If you don't believe me, just knock on every door on Duke Street. You will find 10 lawyers behind most of them! Lawyers are everywhere.

It is being said that this commission may compensate the people of Tivoli for what happened to them. This, however, is not certain. At the end of it all, the victims may not get anything. Even if they did, it is unlikely that they will get anything near what these commission members are getting for their pay. I wonder if the commission will consider any Tivoli resident worthy of the kind of compensation that these commissioners are getting?

I am tired of these spin doctors taking us for fools. Enough of the hypocrisy!

Michael A. Dingwall