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Less MPs? Residents say yes

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Residents have given a thumbs-up to a plan to cut the number of MPs from 36 to 30.

The Royal Gazette took to the streets of Hamilton to find out what voters thought about the proposal, which formed part of the SAGE Commission's report on government spending.

Released last week, it said that a reduction in MPs — combined with a cut in Cabinet ministers from 12 to eight — would save an estimated $750,000 in salaries and benefits.

“Too many cooks spoil the soup,” said Clyde (The International Barber) Simons, 54.

Property manager Hal Kempe, 52, agreed.

“I think we're very top-heavy with the number of ministers we have representing 60,000 or 70,000 people,” he said. “Municipalities in the US have much more people overseeing their small little budgets. We don't need all this. It's not what people want to hear, but to get us back on an even keel we're going to have to bite the bullet for a couple years.”

Administrator Amy DaPont, 26, said she also saw “the benefit of cutting them down”.

“Huge reductions are necessary. It's a matter of survival,” said one 32-year-old Southampton woman, who asked not to be named.

William Frith, 50, disagreed. “What's the average number of voters in each constituency? A thousand? Twelve hundred? Problem is in Jamaica and the Bahamas they've actually increased the number of seats in their [Parliament]. Thirty-six is about right. It allows the spread of demographics and everything else to all ends of the Island. Because we're small I think it gives everyone the opportunity to be represented, both politically and culturally.”

IT consultant Earl Jones, 43, said he was “in favour” of the proposed cut down.

“For the size of the Government and the size of this Country, I don't think it should be 36. I think we can make do with less. It could save us money, especially with the pensions. I think after three years they're vested and get $100,000 for the rest of their lives. Cutting back would be good. “

Meanwhile, Dawn Matthews, 58, said: “It costs too much to pay them.”

Hal Kempe (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Earl Jones (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Clyde Simons (Photo by Mark Tatem)
Amy Daponte (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm)

Less MPs? Residents say yes

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