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HomeNewsLocal NewsFifteen per cent salary increase for Members in the Nevis Island Assembly

Fifteen per cent salary increase for Members in the Nevis Island Assembly

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by Eulana Weekes

Premier of Nevis, Mark Brantley, announced at his June 19, 2024, Press Conference that the Cabinet approved a salary increase for Parliamentarians in the Nevis Island Assembly.

“On the 8th of May 2024, the cabinet took the decision to increase the salaries of NIA parliamentarians by 15 per cent. That is the same increase that had been given to our public servants in Nevis, and that will be effective June 1, 2024. This will maintain the position of parliamentarians vis-a-vis the public service in Nevis, but unlike public servants in Nevis, this increase will not be retroactive. So, the increase of parliamentarians will commence on the 1st of June and will go forward. It will not be retroactive in terms of that increase. For the avoidance of doubt, the 15 per cent increase in emoluments to the NIA parliamentarians will apply to the president of the Nevis Island Assembly and all members of the government and opposition benches effective June 1, 2024.”

A Resolution was passed in the National Assembly in February 2024 to increase salaries for members of the Federal House, which did not apply to parliamentarians in the Nevis Island Assembly. Brantley said in the past, it was the norm for an increase to be reflected in Nevis Island Assembly as well. He advised that a 15 % salary increase was applied to Public Servants in Nevis.

“On or around the 22nd of February 2024, a resolution in the National Assembly increased salaries for federal parliamentarians. This increase did not extend to the members of the Nevis Island Assembly. In public statements by me reported in the media on April 2, 2024, I stated that the increases did not apply to Nevis and that the cabinet of the NIA will have to consider the matter in relation to Nevis. In the past and as recently as the period 2022 to 2024, public servants in Nevis benefited from a 15 per cent increase in salary, paid in chances of 5 per cent, with the first chance being retroactive to January 2022. Parliamentarians in Nevis did not benefit from that increase. The cabinet of the NIA has been advised that in the past, salary increases for parliamentarians in the Nevis Island Assembly mirrored those in the federal parliament to maintain parity between the NIA and federal parliamentarians. Alternatively, salary increases to NIA parliamentarians sometimes mirrored increases to the public service in Nevis.”

According to Premier Brantley, after the 15% salary increase for Public Servants, some Permanent Secretaries were being paid higher salaries than their Ministers, which was a concern.

“One of the concerns that had been expressed is that with the recent increases to public servants, there are, in fact, some prominent secretaries that were being paid at a higher rate than their minister. And we wanted to adjust that. And we wanted to, of course, maintain the parity because it seemed to us a little anomalous that a prominent secretary who is instructed by his or her minister would actually be paid at a higher rate than his or her minister. And so at the end, we decided that adopting the position where we would maintain the parity between public servants and those in parliament, that that was the best [approach].”

The announcement of salary increases specifically for Premier Brantley and Deputy Premier Eric Evelyn has not been accepted by a fraction of the Nevision Public, arguing that they recently received an increase in salary as sitting Ministers within the Federal Parliament.

Some took to social media, expressing that the Ministers do not deserve a salary increase,  they are greedy and are getting more money to spend while the poor continue to struggle. Others expressed that they are looking forward to elections to vote out the Brantley-led Concerned Citizens Movement Administration.

At his April 02 engagement with the press, Brantley disclosed his view that the salary increase for parliamentarians would garner a negative reaction from the public.

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