British Virgin Islands (BVI News) – Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley has posited that there is a common belief that elected leaders shouldn’t be financially stable, saying that’s the reason past leaders shied away from increasing the salaries of politicians.
The Premier made the statement on September 19 as elected leaders took steps to change the Greedy Bill – the Retiring Allowances (Legislative Services) Amendment Act, 2021 – which gave excessive payments to retired government members.
The Premier said the issue of low salaries and pensions could have been addressed years ago but leaders were afraid of public opinion.
“Persons were afraid to put forward a decent salary for those in the highest law-making body of the land. And what’s the reason for the fear? Somehow, there’s an expectation that when persons are in these positions, they must be up on a cross and that your own needs don’t matter. They’ll run you into the ground and they’ll be there at your funeral,” Premier Wheatley stated.
He continued: “I don’t know if it’s a BVI thing or not, but there’s an expectation that someone in this position must not be paid something that is decent. So we are afraid to do what needs to be done.”