NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – – Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley continues to go without his entire monthly salary and allowances, forgoing a paycheque since March 2020 as a show of solidarity with the people of Nevis who lost their jobs in the tourism industry with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Brantley, who is Minister of Finance and Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), made the revelation in response to a question posed by a reporter during his monthly press conference on November 25, 2021.
“I haven’t taken a salary yet. So unlike my colleagues who said quite properly that they would take a salary cut for a particular time frame, I said I would take it [salary withdrawal] until we had the all clear from COVID, because I did not anticipate that we would have COVID now going on two years.
“So I’ve not had a salary from the Nevis Island Administration since March of last year, so it’s really now been about 20 months or so and I’m not,” he said about the significant gesture.
On Nevis, like many other territories in the region and around the world, hundreds of workers in the tourism sector and related businesses were abruptly left unemployed when St. Kitts and Nevis closed its borders to international travel in an attempt to avoid a widespread outbreak of the deadly virus.
With the resumption of leisure travel to the island, and persons getting back to work in the tourism industry, Mr. Brantley is hopeful that the Nevis economy will regain its pre-COVID momentum. He said only then will he resume receiving a salary.
“So I’m looking at next year and I’m hopeful that if we can reopen properly, then maybe at that point I’ll be able to get a salary back.”