Readers speak out on the level of salaries for MPs and Senators
The Royal Gazette have had plenty to say about salaries for parliamentarians since we revealed that the total annual bill now tops $4 million and most Ministers in the House of Assembly receive $168,000 a year.
Here are a selection of their views, posted on our website and Facebook page:
Glynne Grosvenor: “Politicians should lead by example. Cut the perks and salaries by 50 percent. Cabinet Minsters should be rewarded based on the performance of their Ministry. They should not be rewarded for incompetence.”
Walter Burgess: “This article was eye opening and mind boggling. While I was aware that MPs, senators, Opposition Leader etc earned a salary, I did not expect it was at the levels revealed in this article.
“For comparison I researched the current salary for the President of the United States of America. The president earns US$400,000 per year.”
Bruce McClarron: “The total salary cost for all of Bermuda's 47 parliamentarians is $4.05m! That's a ridiculous amount of money to pay 47 so-called parliamentarians (plus no income tax) on an annual basis, for a small island with an indigenous population of only 60,000 people.
“It's more like the ‘gravy train' for those 47 people! I'm amazed that ordinary working class black folks are NOT up in arms and seriously questioning all this nonsense particularly as there are now 3,000-plus unemployed people!”
Bill Cook: “Bear in mind those salaries do not include the benefits added, health insurance and pensions, presumably based on top earnings etc and, of course, all this cash must be found somewhere.”
Sam Morgan: “Should Government Ministers take a pay reduction to help save Government some money? Should GP cars be used as second cars for the family to pick kids up from school? Do shopping? Eat out? Or should they be used as they are supposed to be during working hours for work?”
Oba Swan: “Many politicians can make more in the private sector than in Government. But a Government Minister should not be in Government for the money but because they feel it's their calling.
“The pay is substantially more than enough to live off (and that's not including the perks) so during lean times a small pay cut should not hurt them.”
Rick Olson: “I would put them on a bonus scheme and eliminate the salary!”
Roseann Stapff: “Show us u care with cuts of these xorbit [exorbitant] salaries. We must be guided by ‘practices' not ‘preachings'.”
William Lusher told a public meeting on the annual Budget in February: “It's perfectly clear to me as a person on the street...that the Government members of the present Government are the ones receiving the largest amount of money in our society at a time when we can ill afford it.”
Premier Paula Cox replied: “I don't think that would probably be fair or accurate.”
She said an independent board was appointed specifically to ensure parliamentarians didn't set their own salaries.