It is time for a change; Change the retiring allowances for Parliamentarians – Part 2
Should the parliamentarians elect to get the gratuity and a reduced allowance, they will get the following payouts.The premier will get an annual allowance of $70,000 or $5833 monthly which is calculated by taking ¾ of $93,333. However, the premier will also get a gratuity of a one-time payment of $875,000 calculated by multiply 12 ½ by 70,000. The deputy premier will get an annual allowance of $63,000 or $5,250 monthly for life plus a gratuity of one -time payment of $787,500. The minister will get an annual allowance of $56,700 or $4,725 monthly for life plus a gratuity of one -time payment of $708,750. The “back bencher” will get an annual allowance of $35,00 or $2,917 monthly for life plus a gratuity of one -time payment of $437,500.
I believe the primary purpose of parliamentarians should be to make the country and its citizens’ lives better socially, politically and economically. I also believe parliamentarians should be financially stable before entering politics and therefore the retiring allowance should not be a factor to attract Parliamentarians.
This whole process of retiring allowance is so contradictory as one of my friends pointed out to me. The Government civil servants pension scheme was discontinued when the National Insurance Board scheme came into effect in 1992 but yet we continue to have a retiring allowance for parliamentarians. In addition, Parliamentarians get retiring allowance at age 50 while everyone else in TCI does not qualify for pension until age 65.
In order to alleviate this burden, the writer proposes the following;
- Revert to the retiring allowance to what it was prior to 2004, i.e. a parliamentarian must serve for at least 3 consecutive terms.
- Reduce the payments period from life to10 years or even 5 years.
- Introduce a contributory pension scheme whereby the parliamentarians also contribute by deducting a percentage from their paycheck each month and then TCIG matches it.
- Eliminate the retiring allowance completely and have the parliamentarians benefit from retirement under the National Insurance Scheme like everyone else.
- Increase the age from 50 to 65 when parliamentarians are eligible to receive retiring allowances.
In conclusion I want you to consider this. By 2020, should our current parliamentarians decide to retire, it is going to cost us more than $100,000 a month or $1,200,000 a year. This does not factor our previous politicians that have already retired and are getting an allowance. In addition to this, we will have to pay our new politicians a monthly salary totaling more than $118,779 a month which is equivalent to $1,425,348. Therefore, our total payout to the retired politicians and the new politicians on a monthly basis will be at least $218,779 a month or $2,625,348 a year for life. There are parliamentarians who we know are not working but yet we are compensating them for life. It is time for a change; change the retiring allowance ordinance.
For more information, please see www.gov.tc/agc. Select revised laws and choose 01.06 and 01.10