Premier justifies extra cash for councillors

| 27/09/2017 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service

The new Legislative Assembly, 31 May 2017

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has justified the difference in pay received by MLAs, saying that the representatives on the government benches have a heavier workload than those in opposition. Following calls from the opposition leader to implement a structured salary pay scale for politicians that sets out the packages for all MLAs depending on length of service and their roles, the leader of the government coalition said that time served is not as significant as the workload government councillors will do, regardless of the previous political experience.

While Ezzard Miller told CNS this week that he believed the governor had accepted his proposal and would be introducing the salary scale for elected representatives, the premier continues to see the issue differently.

He told CNS that councillors on the government benches perform the role of junior ministers and often are appointed as temporary ministers, effectively running the ministries for short periods. “There’s no comparison between what they do and opposition members do,” he maintained.

The current salaries being received by all the serving members of the Legislative Assembly were published on CNS yesterday and revealed that the newly elected backbenchers sitting on the government side of the House are earning more than veteran opposition members, including the opposition leader. But McLaughlin said that the extra pay is justified by the extra work, and that in this case the experience of being an elected opposition member is no reason to increase the pay.

Following the publication of the opposition leader’s call for a more transparent and structured pay scale for MLAs, the public made their thoughts clear in the comments with most stating that they believe local politicians are paid far too much already.

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Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m an ex-politician and recall that in one week alone i would be asked to give over $3000 in assistance. I told my constituents I couldn’t afford to do that but the sad reality is many of the older politicians have created this expectation. Instead of fixing they underlying issues they just had out cash. I have no idea where they got it from because I couldn’t do it at that scale on my salary. I guess Alden has found a way to “supplement” the handouts for his “team”

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now I see why Jon Jon, Bernie, Austin and Eugene jumped ship on the Government they formed with the other independents (Greed and Selfishness). What blows me away is that if Austin was still a talk show host he would be screaming bloody murder about this. but he sits quietly and takes the money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure Savannah people are happy to be paying their MLA Anthony Eden both a huge salary AND a huge pension to protect them from a gay people’s invasion. Christ Jesus, only in Cayman and places like Alabama could we get this Bible Belt homophobic ignorance and stupidness.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bet you won’t advocate gay rights in a Muslim country! Bet you won’t tell a Muslim to accept it

      • Diogenes says:

        You’d lose that bet, your religion doesn’t affect another person’s rights no matter what the religion

  4. Anonymous says:

    At the current £/$US Exchange Rate, MLA’s earn almost the same as a U.K. MP – TAX FREE!
    How can you compare the responsibilities of a Politician serving a constituency of tens of thousands of people and debating in Parliament, legislation which can affect 30million people, with those of an MLA in a constituency of 1000 or less, and parochial legislation affecting about 60,000.
    It is a ludicrous situation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Political suicide for those newbies Barbara and Austin! Alden will probably find idiots to vote him in again but those two jumping on the gravy train first time around and not denouncing this is going to be fatal! All in the U.K. Jetsetting with Alden! What a joke!

    • Diogenes says:

      Barbara ran with the PPM she was elected with the PPM she did not run as an independent so, are the people of GT not going to vote for her again because she stuck with her party, that seems reasonable.

      Also I know it may feel like it but Cayman is not Independent, take a look in your passport (if you are “Caymanian” the undefinable and arbitrary title we give ourselves, so much so that I a person born here to two Caymanian parents and have lived here my whole life had to ask Immigration to acknowledge me ) I can assure you of two things:
      1 – The front Cover says quite clearly “British Passport”
      2 -You will not find the word Caymanian in it like it or not we are British Citizens and that means that occasionally elected persons from here are going to hop across the pond to speak to our colonial overlords, get over it

  6. Anonymous says:

    How much would we have to pay for them all to stay home?

    • Anonymous says:

      They do……have you ever watched the dull coverage on tv with 2 or 3 sleepy people listening to something infinitely boring and irrelevant……

  7. anonymous says:

    Its bad enough that they never show up on a daily basis – but there must be parity of pay – its the price you pay for being in power – more work for same money. If you dont like get a job where you do show up daily and actually earn it. Having said this I do think the premier does work extremely hard, probably because he has to cover for the other slackers…..

  8. Narcisso Clarke says:

    Have you no shame Mr premier dont know who is worse you our Mckeeva? More money you have got to be joking???

  9. Anonymous says:

    Years experience is irrelant here. Opposition members are paid well to have free time to campaign for 4 years; that’s effectively all that the do. Government benches clearly have more responsibility

    • Anonymous says:

      You clearly do not understand the role of the Opposition. Here let me school you.

      Democracy at Work

      The role of an Opposition is a most important role and the effectiveness of Parliament largely depends on the strength of the Opposition.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Alden could explain why he only paid Winston, Roy and Alva all highly educated and experienced individuals CI $500; but he finds it necessary to pay David, Barbara and Austin CI $2,000. What has changed in the job description to justify the additional pay.

  11. Anonymous says:

    When you sit down and really think about all the money that these politicians make…. there is no real value for money. Very, very few actually care about the people and country… though some have ran and got elected under the PPM banner of ‘For the love of country”. This information is concerning to know and read but more so that we have people that continue to struggle for basics in this country but yet the people in power have these enormous pay checks!! I hang my head in shame… that we have another 3.5 years of this mess again with no leadership or accountability!

  12. Anonymous says:

    @3:20 So very true!! Kmt

  13. Anonymous says:

    It should all be performance based pay, awarded by the auditor general, based on reducing debt, increasing transparency, making the CS efficient and user friendly, increasing literacy and skills training for Caymanians and reducing their reliance on handouts!

  14. Anonymous says:

    @ 4:47. Your comment is surely on point. We will have to leave our country to be able to live just as our parents and grandparents did back in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s sad that everyone can be taken care of here except the indigenous Caymanians.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well this is no surprise!!! I didn’t really think this Island could get any worse but I stand corrected. The biggest mistake was this Coalition Government as now we have to deal with the same crappy Government for another four years. Smdh!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    How an increase of the minimum wage??? It irks me you guys sit on your high horses collecting these big salaries and you have Caymanians that’s not even making a decent salary to survive living in their homelands. Most of you politicians don’t even have the country at heart you guys are just there for the title of being an MLA and collect your fat paychecks while me a young Caymanian struggle to make ends meat on a measly USD$6.00 per hour working at hotel.

    • Anonymous says:

      And it sounds like you have more brains than any of them, even put together. Well said!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Alden playing with public funds to buy a government to keep him as Premier and reward his friends. SMH

  18. Revelations 3:45 says:

    Political loyalty is bought and paid for with tax payer funds. And now the country has the facts and figures to prove it.

    These arrangements and payments that we are finally being exposed by Ezzard Miller are for undefined positions in law and the Constitution e.g. Councillors. This is further proof that nepotism, buying loyalty and the lack of transparency are how the powerful in politics have always operated and we get to better understand why the status quo must be protected at all costs.

    No where else could this collection of politicians earn these kind of salaries which include 4-8k per month allowances for constituency offices, travel, full medical and full pension benefits and the ability to double dip when reaching the age of 55.

    The total compensation packages for the 19 MLA’s ranges between KYD 18,000.00 to 36,000.00 per month. Now ask yourselves two questions:

    1. Are the Cayman Islands receiving value for money based on the decisions made by these leaders, the state of the country and prospects for the future?

    2. Would you hire these persons elected to office to work in your business, manage your business and go into partnership with them?

  19. Lomart says:

    Unbelievable! These Rookies are ALL overpaid.

  20. JTB says:

    It’s an interesting notion that MLA’s should be paid more the longer they have been in office. Given Cayman’s mounting problems there must surely be a compelling argument that any MLA who has served more than one term is part of the problem and should take a pay cut, as an incentive to bring in new blood and fresh ideas. Mr Miller, who has served 5 terms, ought by now to be paying us for the privilege of unburdening himself of his opinions in the legislature,

  21. Double Up says:

    Absolute disgrace please tell us exactly what conch sellers do other than flap dey lips and send oops tell constituents to go to the NAU you Jokers are overpaid now as it is in comparison to the amount of times you visit in the L A No more ? tell you what take the ?out of the oversized police budget yes you are just as useless as them

  22. Anonymous says:

    Of course the Premier would have a justification for this the extra pay of his Councillors. It still is too much money that they are paid! And the premier is one to talk…. what a heap on money he making per year! What a shame to know and read this….

  23. Anonymous says:

    Any increase in fat cat pay stubs should be conditional upon passing legislation for Standards in Public Life, Constitutional review of MLA eligibility criteria, voter eligibility, and some belated provision for the inclusion of “born” ghost Caymanians that have been abandoned to a bureaucratic process of their creation/neglect. Overlooking (of course) there are dozens of Bills with higher priority than the upward adjustment of overpaid MLA comp.

  24. Unknown says:

    Why the sudden need for this pay scale change?? What about the hard working civil servants that don’t make ends meet month in and out; that have had the same salary for years and there workload keeps getting added to because lack of staffing . Where is their salary adjustment?

    • Uncivil Servant says:

      Hard working Civil Servants? Have you considered a career in comedy?

    • Anonymous says:

      11;43 am, who is the hard working civil servants, Not any in the Brac, check the shops at 9: 15 am and those that does their weekly shopping at 11:15 am in the govt. trucks. and those that comes in to work late and those that stay home and don’t always show up for work.

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