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Concern raised over Holness' PM pension

Published: Monday January 2, 2012 | 11:00 am Comments 0
Outgoing Prime Minister Andrew Holness- Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Outgoing Prime Minister Andrew Holness- Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Andrew Holness’ legal entitlement to the same amount of pension as prime ministers who served before him is raising concern.

Holness served as Prime Minister for only two months following the resignation of Bruce Golding in November last year.

Former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Carlton Davis, who helped to craft the existing legislation in 2005, says the law needs to be amended in the interest of equity and fairness.

Dr. Davis has described as “loose” the provisions in the law that entitle persons who hold the office of both Governor General and Prime Minister to the same level of pension, without due consideration to the time they have served.

Dr. Davis says he is not taking issue with the level of pension some Prime Ministers are receiving, but the fact that there is no minimum period in law which specifies how long a Prime Minister should serve before he becomes entitled to pension.

He notes that Parliamentarians are treated differently as they are not entitled to pension until they serve at least two terms in office or nine years.

In 2005, Prime Minister P.J. Patterson was a member of the Parliament which passed the Bill amending the pension of a retired prime minister to be the full salary of the current prime minister, among other things.

Golding, who was then Opposition Leader, strenuously opposed the move and promised to table a bill in Parliament to cut the pension for prime ministers from 100 per cent to two thirds of their salary when his party took office in 2007.

The bill was among a number of legislative matters being given priority attention by a legislation sub-committee of the Cabinet.

editorial@gleanerjm.com

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