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‘Public Is Wrong Over Issue Of Raise In M.P. Salaries’

By KYLE WALKINE

Tribune Staff Reporter

kwalkine@tribunemedia.net

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said yesterday that public opinion on the issue of MPs getting a raise and a new Parliament is “wrong” and “pure foolishness”.

He called the existing Parliament structure a “dump” and lamented the fact that members of Parliament have virtually no privacy from the public inside the facility.

The Fox Hill MP, during his contribution to the 2014/2015 budget debate, defended recent recommendations from a Parliament select committee for the construction of a new Parliament and an independent review of MP’s salaries and allowances.

He said the recommendations are “sensible and reasonable”, despite there being criticism from the public and the opposition that there are more pressing issues in the country to be dealt with besides parliamentarians getting a raise. 

Mr Mitchell said when it comes to a new Parliament, allowances and increased salaries for MPs, people will always say it is not the right time.

Mr Mitchell insisted there are too many people within the public domain over-exaggerating the issue saying, “For the Lord’s sake; for the love of God, let’s stop carping and complaining and get on with it. Just do it.

“(There’s) too much talk about this. Just do it. 

“It does not mean that because you are planning various matters or discussing various items that you cannot also take care of other needs,” the MP added. 

“It is not a zero sum game. You can walk and chew gum at the same time. Or as someone else said, you can praise God and pass the ammunition.”

Last month, National Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage read a report by a committee comprised of both Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and Free National Movement (FNM) MPs requesting that parliamentarians’ salaries and allowances be reviewed. The report also suggested that a new Parliament complex be built.  

According to Mr Mitchell, since the report was delivered there has been much ill-informed and inaccurate commentary.

“I constantly ask myself what the heck is wrong with some folk in this country,” the MP said, questioning the basis for the public’s argument. 

One of those in disagreement with the raise was Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney, who stressed that parliamentarians should not be seeking a raise when other hard working and deserving citizens should be the first to get a raise. 

However, The Fox Hill MP said some MPs spend their time “begging for money” to maintain their constituency. 

“Most MPs today are subsidising their offices out of their pockets,” he said. “That is simply wrong.”

Mr Mitchell continued his argument for a new Parliament saying, “Look at this place. It is a dump.

“The staff is sitting upon one another, packed in like the poor, three to a bed. The bathrooms are shared with the public and the members and the staff. The facilities for the press are inadequate. No offices for members and no privacy when meeting constituents. It is impossible.

“It is disgraceful that in 2014 we are still in a building built to reflect the choices and styles of a country in the early 19th century in 2014 and we say that this reflects what we are today. If this is what reflects what we are today, we are in a sad state. I say it does not and we need a new building.”

Last month Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis said giving politicians a raise would remove the temptation of them doing wrong. 

The House Speaker has an $80,000 a year salary while his deputy receives $32,000. An MP’s salary is $28,000 a year.

Parliamentarians have not received a raise in 25 years. 

Comments

sheeprunner12 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Fred Mitchell is becoming more looney as the days go by..................... please retire, you have NO legacy.

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asiseeit 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Mitchell, what is wrong with people in this country is that they need a representatives that work for the people and the nation as a whole not for their party, themselves, and their cronies only. The country is broke but I doubt that one M.P. is making less than $40,000 a year while the MAJORITY of Bahamians are scraping by on less than $20,000. Are you people that out of touch with the reality of day to day life. Oh, maybe if you where In the country you would GET it. I would love to see you TRY and make it OUTSIDE the golden roost you now sit in, without your political connections, you would sing a different tune my boy!

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jlcandu 4 months, 2 weeks ago

This coming from Mr. Mitchell, who blew his annual travel budget within the first few months of being in office!!! It's easy to complain when you are spending someone else's money!!!

Mr. Mitchell, now is not the time to be building a new Parliament OR PM's residence. Fix the crime problem, fix the poverty problem, fix the education system... There are more pressing matters in this country than YOUR working conditions, which YOU only show up very infrequently.

Of course, you can't expect anything better from someone who thinks that everyone who doesn't agree with him is an idiot. Must be a very small world for you, Mr. Mitchell.

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mangogirl01 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Well mudda sic, this man head gone, gone!! He too full of hot air and pompous! He really is delusional and needs to keep in mind that he works for us!!

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Honestman 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Mitchell says: "I constantly ask myself what the heck is wrong with some folk in this country,”

Answer: we keep voting embittered egomaniacs and unscrupulous incompetents into government!

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sansoucireader 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Funny, I keep asking the same thing about him.

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Thinker 4 months, 2 weeks ago

So, once again, the Public doesn't have a clue. These people are spitting in our faces, daily, and getting paid for it with our hard earned income.

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Thinker 4 months, 2 weeks ago

They haven't received a raise in 25 years, but taxes going up up up. How convenient, the timing is impeccable. Lazy thieves.

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jt 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Sharing a bathroom with common peasants? Disgusting. Wow, Mr. Mitchell, every time you open your mouth you insult the voting population. What the heck is wrong with you?

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sheeprunner12 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Fox Hill constituency must have the dumbest voters ever............ except for Over the Hill and South Andros

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

If theirs keys largely contain money from Nygard, BOB non-compliant loans, 5000 per contract bribe money, at the end of the day, what are they complaining about?

Seriously I'd like to know what they're doing, I have not seen one open constituency office ever, what are they doing to earn an increase in pay! what are they doing to earn what they are currently getting.

Notice to all: if you care more about working in a fancy new building and how much you're paid than you do for the country, sit your backside home and don't run to represent anyone. We simply don't have the money to finance your fanciful idea of being a rich and famous high flying executive. Get a job in the private sector, you will NEVER be prime minister.

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

"if their pockets..." annoying auto-correction...

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ThisIsOurs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

I have never seen someone so clearly unsuited for public SERVICE

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ohdrap4 4 months, 2 weeks ago

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Parliament. But I repeat myself.”

― Mark Twain, paraphrased

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sheeprunner12 4 months, 2 weeks ago

How many of yall notice that many of the politicians speak of Bahamians as "dumb" or "misinformed" ?????????? What does that suggest about our choices for leaders!!!!!!

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DillyTree 4 months, 2 weeks ago

When Mr. Mitchell and the rest of Parliament can justify their raises, I think we should give them one. However, I've not seen one iota to justify any raise. Try this line of thinking in the private sector and see how far it gets.

In this failing economy, he wants a new House so he doesn't have to use the bathroom with peasants? Talk about being out of touch. If this miserable government would reduce their out of control spending and add a little common sense, we might just have a Bahamas to save. At the rate they are going, then add VAT, wage increases, non-reduced custom tariffs, and other idiotic taxes and fees, our cost of living expenses have just jumped 35 - 45%. Who can afford this? Oh, and jobs? They will go by the wayside as soon as businesses can no longer afford to keep employees or do business and shut down, leaving lots more unemployment yet to come. Where does the madness end?

And why does Flyaway Fred call everything "foolishness" when he doesn't agree with it? Poor Fred is completely delusional. Time to retire.

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Purcell 4 months, 2 weeks ago

You should have no privacy from the public you elitist fuck.

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august2013 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Funny eh? Everyone is crying tings tough...officer's can't get an increase and MP's "need" increase. You gat to be joking. When the PLP came to power they said there was no money... and even now they are borrowing money just to make ends meet and you are talking about raise. The speaker of the house, his salary should to be cut to $ 70,000 and take the extra $10,000 and add it to the deputy speaker's salary. I agree with "thisisours"! "if you care more about working in a fancy new building and how much you're paid than you do for the country, sit your backside home and don't run to represent anyone. We simply don't have the money to finance your fanciful idea of being a rich and famous high flying executive. Get a job in the private sector" You MP's suppose to be smart and intelligent. If someone offers you a job and tells you in advance the salary you will earn, if you can't live with it...then don't take the job. These men seem as though they took the job, knowing well that the salary would not sustain them and now they are trying to justify a raise. When things are bad in a company, no one gets a raise. Things are bad in the Bahamas and NO MP should receive a raise... in fact they should go around collecting all the outstanding monies owed to the government and receive a 10% commission on that...I think that's a good incentive. We should then be looking pretty good if we can collect at least 50% of the outstanding and then we can consider a new HOA or raise. And from my recollection in business, raises begin at the bottom. You take care of your lower level employee's before taking care of yourself. That is what sacrifice is all about. So you MP's have a long way to go before you should see an increase. Yeah...I agree the MP salary are "off" but do some adjustments within...clearly some are receiving too little when other are receiving much more than their counterpart. That need fixing, but don't use the tax payers money to make the adjustments, because at the end of the day the money will still be off in the next 25 years. Create a salary scale and STICK TO IT!

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august2013 4 months, 2 weeks ago

And I voted PLP...so it's not political...it is sensible!

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sheeprunner12 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Who can STOP them from raising their salaries, benefits and allowances????? The peasants??????? Paris1789?????

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The_Oracle 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Funny how they encourage and expect the ignorance and work it in their favor at election time, then decry it otherwise! Careful, seems someone would wear a crown!

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Bahamianpride 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Mr. Mitchell, the public is your Boss & to call your boss foolish is idiotic. He thinks he sits on a mountain above the people he serves, the Bahamian people must remind him & all politicians who step out of line who their employer is.

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BiminiHomeowner 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Why don't they pool all their bribe money together and pay for a new building?

I'm sure they have more than enough...

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Freddie Boy, let's try get things "straight" here (pun fully intended). You more than any MP in the history of our parliamentary democracy love the trappings of public office (almost as much as you love yourself). You are so enamored by all the hobnobbing you get to do with other government elitists of your ilk during your many lavish trips abroad at the expense of the poor peasant voters you loathe to mingle with back home. YOU WANT PRIVACY FROM THE POOR PEASANT VOTERS, FREDDIE BOY.....THEN WHY DON'T YOU JUST CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR OWN LITTLE CLOSET?! (once again, pun fully intended!!)

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Rinks 4 months, 2 weeks ago

What a disgrace......just shut up and go retire if it is so bad.But wait you just can't wait to get there to live of the tax payers money.

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All4One 4 months, 2 weeks ago

For someone who consistently touts his own intelligence, Mr. Mitchell seems to suffer from a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease. How on earth can he make such a sweeping, MORONIC statement as 'the public is wrong'??? On the face of it, MPs 'salaries' seem modest, but NOTHING prohibits them from continuing with their 'day jobs' while serving. Not to mention the numerous perks from which they benefit. I don't know about any of you, but no one has ever stopped traffic or held a flight for me! The only exception would be if they hold a Cabinet post; but then the salary issue goes away, and, considering the apathetic job most of them do, they are richly compensated.

Fred Mitchell really needs a serious reality check. He is NOT the only educated person in this country, and his constant disdain for us 'common' folks is beyond infuriating. He cannot seriously aspire to become PM if he continues to display such unveiled contempt for the populace!! My prayer is that the days of blind allegiance to a party, rather than the individual, will be behind us in the not too distant future.

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generalcrazy 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Well it is a dump, and its full of 3rd world idiots - but that's the cost of living in a cesspool. And LOL at all the slaves above who supported the FNM doing anything they wanted to do. Brainwashed FNM muppets are easy to notice, they let their political diarrhea run wild in every comment, especially when it comes to Fred Mitchell. Sure the PLP has and will have much to answer for, and yes Fox hill is full of ghetto retards, but of the past 7 years the FNM has even more to answer for, and just as many retards supporting them. Besides the PLP and FNM are the same, they all say and do the same crap over and over and over, and their supporters still suck their ass. Salary increase? HELL NO.

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mangogirl01 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Brainwashed PLP, beer and t-shirts muppets are easy to spot too!!

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generalcrazy 4 months, 2 weeks ago

There is 1 x PLP on here - birdy - the rest are either non affiliated like myself, or a bunch of punk ass FNM traitors (who also go to rallys for free tee shirts, food, and alcohol). All of them are retards for supporting 2 useless political parties.

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