Categorized | Local, Opinions

Politicians pensions or political arrogance?

By Man from Baker Hill

Friday, November 18, 2011 Reuben the Premier proudly and loudly declared that he can live without being in politics; and he continued to say, that in the meantime, he is prepared to do what he deems necessary to collect taxes owed to his government.

Yes, foo true, Friday, November 18, 2011 ZJB reported a statement made by our Premier Reuben Meade, in which he declared that his government will take strong legal action against Montserratians who owe his government income tax arrears. And believe it or not, those persons who still owe income tax arrears are simply unable to pay it. Those taxpayers do not have the means to pay any tax arrears; they do not have the money or the ability to borrow the money to pay the tax arrears. But I am sure that they want to pay their tax arrears; after all who wants to owe tax?

Monday, November 14, 2011 our Premier Reuben passed an amendment to our tax laws to make sure that after he leaves political office, the tax he will pay on his politician’s retirement income is not more than 5%.  Yet at the same time he amended the Law so that the rest of us will pay up to 40% on our income.

Again on Monday, November 14, 2011 Reuben the Premier amended our Income Tax Laws to make it very clear to all and sundry that his politician’s pension will be increased by over $20,000.00. In one day, November 14, 2011 our Premier made sure that if he leaves politics today or tomorrow he will get a pension of more than $150,000.00 a year and that he will pay no more than 5% in tax on his retirement income. Certainly, our Premier Reuben can brag! Certainly, he can boast that he can live and that he can survive even if he is not re-elected.

A few years ago, In 2006 to be exact, this same Premier Reuben Meade joined with other Legislators to give social security age benefit to retired civil servants thereby increasing some pensioners ‘tax free’ retirement income by as much as 100%, even though they did not contribute to the Social Security Fund (SSF). Is this Premier is all about civil servants and politicians, or is Montserrat a paradise only for politicians and retired civil servants?

Now listen to this! Yes read this!  In 2009 Reuben as a politician voted to pass a law that reduced the social security age pension payable to persons born after 1950. That law gravely affected workers by as much as 30% of their accrued and expected benefit.  Most of these workers are not civil servants so they depend on the social security age benefit as their only source of retirement income.  In fact they would have contributed to the Social Security Fund (SSF) expecting a modest age pension.

And now, in the time of need, when these humble workers reach the sweet retirement age of 60 years they are told that their expected monthly pension had been reduced by as much as $300.00. Imagine the horrible blow to their self esteem.  How could our ‘well paid and well positioned for massive pensions’ politicians cut the accrued social security benefits? And they fully well knew that none of those retired workers would have gotten a monthly pension of $1500.00.

So far, without seeking condemnation or judgement, I chronicled; and now I say the following.

No Reuben!  You are not politically suicidal; you are politically arrogant. Of course you can survive outside of government. You will get a large pension without having contributed one cent of your money. Then you will pay no tax on the first $60,000.00 of that pension and only 5% on the remainder. It is other people, the UK taxpayer’s, money that will fund your pension.  And if you live only ten years after politics, you will collect almost $2 million in retirement income. You can brag!

So go on Premier Meade, persecute; and then threaten to prosecute the people who can’t afford to pay their tax arrears, but who would dearly love to pay tax. However, before you prosecute please remember it is the people who voted for you so that you will be able to survive on a politician’s pension. They respected and trusted you. They love to hear the sound of your voice; you always sound so plausible.  And even though they never see the face in your mirror… they will always vote for you.

Please Premier Meade, consider the non- established health care worker, the port worker, the non-civil servant clerical officer or the construction worker. They did not owe any tax arrears. They paid their social security contributions expecting to receive the benefit promised; but you reduced it in some cases by almost $5000.00 a year. Could it be that you do not like ordinary folks?

Stop bragging!  Go, yes go, and correct that very bad thing politicians created at the SOCIAL SECURITY FUND. Correct it so that those humble non- civil servant workers can get the benefit that they were promised and for which they contributed.

And finally, a word to the wise ought to be sufficient! You can live Reuben; but will you? Please do not brag.

Not so long ago one of our deceased political icons, in confidence said to my friend, ”buoy, god mek wan mistake; seventy years no nuff fu man live! Me want more time fu enjoy de lee pension”.

Mr. Premier, life is bigger than financial survival. Many came before you; but for some, their sun did set at noontime in spite of their great financial fortification. You must bear in mind that even though their political careers ended well, they were called shortly thereafter to higher heights, the hereafter. The bell tolls, always. It never stops!  Do not brag!

Mr. Premier your actions in the Legislative Council on November 14, 2011, amending the Income tax laws to remove all doubts over your politician’s pension entitlements, were selfish;   and your statements reported over ZJB radio on November 18, 2011 clearly portrayed you as being politically damn arrogant to Montserratians.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Man from Baker Hill

Friday, November 18, 2011 Reuben the Premier proudly and loudly declared that he can live without being in politics; and he continued to say, that in the meantime, he is prepared to do what he deems necessary to collect taxes owed to his government.

Yes, foo true, Friday, November 18, 2011 ZJB reported a statement made by our Premier Reuben Meade, in which he declared that his government will take strong legal action against Montserratians who owe his government income tax arrears. And believe it or not, those persons who still owe income tax arrears are simply unable to pay it. Those taxpayers do not have the means to pay any tax arrears; they do not have the money or the ability to borrow the money to pay the tax arrears. But I am sure that they want to pay their tax arrears; after all who wants to owe tax?

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Monday, November 14, 2011 our Premier Reuben passed an amendment to our tax laws to make sure that after he leaves political office, the tax he will pay on his politician’s retirement income is not more than 5%.  Yet at the same time he amended the Law so that the rest of us will pay up to 40% on our income.

Again on Monday, November 14, 2011 Reuben the Premier amended our Income Tax Laws to make it very clear to all and sundry that his politician’s pension will be increased by over $20,000.00. In one day, November 14, 2011 our Premier made sure that if he leaves politics today or tomorrow he will get a pension of more than $150,000.00 a year and that he will pay no more than 5% in tax on his retirement income. Certainly, our Premier Reuben can brag! Certainly, he can boast that he can live and that he can survive even if he is not re-elected.

A few years ago, In 2006 to be exact, this same Premier Reuben Meade joined with other Legislators to give social security age benefit to retired civil servants thereby increasing some pensioners ‘tax free’ retirement income by as much as 100%, even though they did not contribute to the Social Security Fund (SSF). Is this Premier is all about civil servants and politicians, or is Montserrat a paradise only for politicians and retired civil servants?

Now listen to this! Yes read this!  In 2009 Reuben as a politician voted to pass a law that reduced the social security age pension payable to persons born after 1950. That law gravely affected workers by as much as 30% of their accrued and expected benefit.  Most of these workers are not civil servants so they depend on the social security age benefit as their only source of retirement income.  In fact they would have contributed to the Social Security Fund (SSF) expecting a modest age pension.

And now, in the time of need, when these humble workers reach the sweet retirement age of 60 years they are told that their expected monthly pension had been reduced by as much as $300.00. Imagine the horrible blow to their self esteem.  How could our ‘well paid and well positioned for massive pensions’ politicians cut the accrued social security benefits? And they fully well knew that none of those retired workers would have gotten a monthly pension of $1500.00.

So far, without seeking condemnation or judgement, I chronicled; and now I say the following.

No Reuben!  You are not politically suicidal; you are politically arrogant. Of course you can survive outside of government. You will get a large pension without having contributed one cent of your money. Then you will pay no tax on the first $60,000.00 of that pension and only 5% on the remainder. It is other people, the UK taxpayer’s, money that will fund your pension.  And if you live only ten years after politics, you will collect almost $2 million in retirement income. You can brag!

So go on Premier Meade, persecute; and then threaten to prosecute the people who can’t afford to pay their tax arrears, but who would dearly love to pay tax. However, before you prosecute please remember it is the people who voted for you so that you will be able to survive on a politician’s pension. They respected and trusted you. They love to hear the sound of your voice; you always sound so plausible.  And even though they never see the face in your mirror… they will always vote for you.

Please Premier Meade, consider the non- established health care worker, the port worker, the non-civil servant clerical officer or the construction worker. They did not owe any tax arrears. They paid their social security contributions expecting to receive the benefit promised; but you reduced it in some cases by almost $5000.00 a year. Could it be that you do not like ordinary folks?

Stop bragging!  Go, yes go, and correct that very bad thing politicians created at the SOCIAL SECURITY FUND. Correct it so that those humble non- civil servant workers can get the benefit that they were promised and for which they contributed.

And finally, a word to the wise ought to be sufficient! You can live Reuben; but will you? Please do not brag.

Not so long ago one of our deceased political icons, in confidence said to my friend, ”buoy, god mek wan mistake; seventy years no nuff fu man live! Me want more time fu enjoy de lee pension”.

Mr. Premier, life is bigger than financial survival. Many came before you; but for some, their sun did set at noontime in spite of their great financial fortification. You must bear in mind that even though their political careers ended well, they were called shortly thereafter to higher heights, the hereafter. The bell tolls, always. It never stops!  Do not brag!

Mr. Premier your actions in the Legislative Council on November 14, 2011, amending the Income tax laws to remove all doubts over your politician’s pension entitlements, were selfish;   and your statements reported over ZJB radio on November 18, 2011 clearly portrayed you as being politically damn arrogant to Montserratians.