Categorized | Editorial

Does Montserrat negotiators have the moral integrity needed for any negotiations

About two months ago retired and ex-civil servants who were receiving Social Security pension payments received a letter from the Social Security Board advising them that the payments had to be suspended because the Government had not kept good its promise to pay the sums due to them.

That issue arose out of a settlement made with the Social Security Board after no contributions were made to the Fund since 1986 by deductions from the civil servants nor contributions from Government as employer.

The bill was upward of twenty (20) million dollars ($20 million). That created a great imbalance especially for those persons who received pensions at the end of their employment. These pensions were non-contributory by the civil servant.

That did not and could not go down well with Her Majesty’s Government, but Government got stuck and did not negotiate well. Unfortunately, that seems to be the pattern of Government for some time and it is time that outstanding questions get answers or at the least, explanations.

Today one listens to the Access Coordinator acting for Government telling Montserrat that they cannot do anything about the new fare, which has created an outcry, currently being charged by FlyMontserrat now enjoying a monopoly. Can LIME and Cable TV increase their rates without Government’s input? Did WINAIR increase its fares without Government’s input? Hyppolite in his explanation on radio referred to FlyMontserrat as being a private company suggesting that as such they do as they please. We cannot begin to imagine that this matter deserves a discussion.
How many other situations similar to this exists? If that situation is in fact correct then the call is to correct it.

INDEPENDENCE FOR ANGUILLA

These past few weeks have seen Anguilla who is yet to agree to a new Constitution with mother country Britain, considering their options for Independence. Quoting from news coming out of Anguilla, “The quarrel is over the Governor refusing to give his assent to the budget, which was passed in the Legislative Council before Christmas 2010. Instead, Harrison wants the expenditure to be slashed by 30 percent, which means that the government will have to cut public servants’ salaries and wages and implement new belt tightening tax measures.”

Other news reports added that there are rumours that the British want to call fresh elections although the government has only been 11 months in office — far from five years. The CM accused one of his own ministers of working against his duly elected government and by extension the people. Montserrat has been there before.

Hughes said that the British are setting up a situation to justify them suspending the constitution and imposing direct rule through the Governor, like they have done in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Montserrat’s Chief Minister Reuben Meade has told his people that he does not face the same constraints or demands from the HMG because since his last budget steps have been taken to mitigate such circumstances.  He has denied that his government has been asked to cut civil servants and although he has talked on the subject numerous times, he has promised that it is not on the cards, but there has always been a but, ‘government would have to do what it has to do.’

Anguilla must face the same situation as Montserrat. If they have to let go 100-300 people, are their jobs for these people to go to? At least some time should be given for these jobs to be created. Montserrat has been facing the jobless situation for too long now.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

About two months ago retired and ex-civil servants who were receiving Social Security pension payments received a letter from the Social Security Board advising them that the payments had to be suspended because the Government had not kept good its promise to pay the sums due to them.

That issue arose out of a settlement made with the Social Security Board after no contributions were made to the Fund since 1986 by deductions from the civil servants nor contributions from Government as employer.

The bill was upward of twenty (20) million dollars ($20 million). That created a great imbalance especially for those persons who received pensions at the end of their employment. These pensions were non-contributory by the civil servant.

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That did not and could not go down well with Her Majesty’s Government, but Government got stuck and did not negotiate well. Unfortunately, that seems to be the pattern of Government for some time and it is time that outstanding questions get answers or at the least, explanations.

Today one listens to the Access Coordinator acting for Government telling Montserrat that they cannot do anything about the new fare, which has created an outcry, currently being charged by FlyMontserrat now enjoying a monopoly. Can LIME and Cable TV increase their rates without Government’s input? Did WINAIR increase its fares without Government’s input? Hyppolite in his explanation on radio referred to FlyMontserrat as being a private company suggesting that as such they do as they please. We cannot begin to imagine that this matter deserves a discussion.
How many other situations similar to this exists? If that situation is in fact correct then the call is to correct it.

INDEPENDENCE FOR ANGUILLA

These past few weeks have seen Anguilla who is yet to agree to a new Constitution with mother country Britain, considering their options for Independence. Quoting from news coming out of Anguilla, “The quarrel is over the Governor refusing to give his assent to the budget, which was passed in the Legislative Council before Christmas 2010. Instead, Harrison wants the expenditure to be slashed by 30 percent, which means that the government will have to cut public servants’ salaries and wages and implement new belt tightening tax measures.”

Other news reports added that there are rumours that the British want to call fresh elections although the government has only been 11 months in office — far from five years. The CM accused one of his own ministers of working against his duly elected government and by extension the people. Montserrat has been there before.

Hughes said that the British are setting up a situation to justify them suspending the constitution and imposing direct rule through the Governor, like they have done in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).

Montserrat’s Chief Minister Reuben Meade has told his people that he does not face the same constraints or demands from the HMG because since his last budget steps have been taken to mitigate such circumstances.  He has denied that his government has been asked to cut civil servants and although he has talked on the subject numerous times, he has promised that it is not on the cards, but there has always been a but, ‘government would have to do what it has to do.’

Anguilla must face the same situation as Montserrat. If they have to let go 100-300 people, are their jobs for these people to go to? At least some time should be given for these jobs to be created. Montserrat has been facing the jobless situation for too long now.