EDITOR, The Tribune.
PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis was very right to announce he would raise parliamentary salaries. Parliamentarians must be the only ones in The Bahamas who have not gone up in pay in 30 years.
Anyone who argues people should not get a raise after not getting one in 30 years is being extremely unreasonable.
Furthermore, if we want better people to be interested in politics we have to pay them more. The $28,000 for MPs is a joke.
Many of the Bahamians who are qualified and making a good living in the private sector would not be interested in the headache of being an MP for that small amount of money.
We have to grow up as a country. We can’t expect to get the best people to come forward to lead the country if we don’t want to pay a sensible salary with sensible benefits. It’s as simple as that.
I’ve heard some complain this is not the right time. Now is always the right time to do the right thing.
For 30 years, we have been saying now is not the right time. If the Prime Minister does not decide to act and do the right thing now, another 30 years may pass and the salaries would still be the same.
We can’t want to have the best leaders and have hatred toward them when it comes to pay.
Capable, qualified people make good money in the private sector. We should want the best Bahamians to feel comfortable stepping forward to be in politics.
We will only develop as a country when we get more capable people in the House of Assembly and Cabinet.
Many of the people I have heard complaining about the salary increase just like complaining.
If Hubert Ingraham were doing this in the 1990s when our economy was strong and growing, they would have complained then too.
I hope our Prime Minister stays strong and goes ahead with this move. He was elected to change The Bahamas.
There will be many more difficult decisions he will have to make and Bahamians will complain then too. But I hope he realises that it falls on him to do many hard things for the well-being of all of us in the long term.
Usually people remember leaders who had the courage to go against the conventional wisdom; and they are thankful then that the hard things got done. Keep doing the hard things, Prime Minister.
MARTHA S GREENE
November 6, 2017.