Enquiry chair outearns US chief justice
THE EDITOR, Sir:
No reasonable person could question the need for an enquiry to investigate the events that led to the deaths of more than 70 persons in Tivoli Gardens. No matter where they lived, or how they behaved (or were forced to behave in support of 'Prezi'), their lives were of value.
What is questionable, however, is the cost of that enquiry.
Some quick research on the Internet revealed that the salary of a United States Supreme Court justice is US$244,000 per annum, with the chief justice earning US$255,000. A chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom earns approximately US$315,000 per year.
Are we saying that the value of the input from chairman of the commission, Sir David Simmons, at US$460,000 for a few months' work, and that of his co-commissioners and legal counsel at not much less, is worth so much more than that of these justices?
When the services of professionals are sought, does anyone do research to determine if the fees quoted are reasonable and justified?
I suggest that, in the future when the next inevitable commission of enquiry is formed, we schedule it for the summer break of the UK court and ask three of these learned justices to preside at a figure commensurate with their annual salary, thereby saving ourselves a significant amount.
Irish Town, St Andrew