EDITOR, The Tribune.
Former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis must now be deeply regretting his decision to call for a general election eight months before it was constitutionally scheduled, with the gradual decrease in COVID-19 infections and the uptick in tourist arrivals in Nassau. Even had he held on until May 2022, history suggests that the Free National Movement (FNM) would've still lost. The last incumbent administration to be re-elected was the Hubert Ingraham FNM government in March 1997. It was a huge gamble.
Minnis deprived himself of eight months at the helm as prime minister. He also deprived his Cabinet ministers of eight months worth of salaries. With a substantive minister's annual salary of $66,000 or $5,500 monthly, the early election loss deprived ousted FNM Cabinet ministers of at least $44,000 – which is no chump change. For Minnis, Marvin Dames, Jeff Lloyd, Michael Foulkes, Dionisio D'Aguilar, Romi Ferreira and Michael Pintard – all of whom are members of the millionaire club – the loss of $44,000 in income will not cause them to fall into poverty.
I am not suggesting that the other former Cabinet ministers, whose assets fell below $1 million, are now lining up outside National Insurance or Social Services for financial assistance. What I am suggesting is that, for several of them, $44,000 is a massive amount of money that they'll have grave difficulty earning as private citizens. For these individuals, being a Cabinet minister afforded them a level of financial stability and comfort they otherwise would've never had. And now, thanks to an early election that was called some eight months before May 2022, they're out of pocket $44,000.
November 11, 2021.