BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – March 12th 2017 – A New York-based Nevisian Attorney is slamming the Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory and his Deputy Premier, Hon. Mark Brantley, for collecting two salaries each every month from the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Another nationals is also critical of the two salaries collected by Amory and Brantley and the Amory-led CCM Administration in Nevis for depending on financial support from the Federal Government to help keep Timothy Harris’ three-party Federal Government in office.
Amory pays himself a salary as Premier from the NIA and collects another salary as Senior Minister and Minister of Labour and Ecclesiastical Affairs from the Federal coffers in Basseterre. Deputy Premier Brantley collects a salary from the NIA and another as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation in the Federal Government.
“I simply do not think anyone in St. Kitts and Nevis should be getting a double salary, given the size of our islands and the overlapping of many of the responsibilities. They should be receiving the higher of the two salaries and an additional stipend but not a double salary,” said attorney at law, Carl Nisbett on the St. Kitts and Nevis chat room firstname.lastname@example.org. In the previous PAM/NRP Administration, the Nevisian minister took only the Federal Salary which was higher than the NIA salary.
In December of last year when the Federal Government and the Nevis Island Administration paid double salary, Amory and Brantley took home four salaries.
Kandis Browne, a staunch supporter of the PAM and Team Unity Government said the double salary every single month to the two ministers is wrong.
“The personal extra benefit of a salary in their pockets, a 100% increase above the regular rate is wrong. If they want to increase ministers ‘ salaries at a reasonable percentage, then do it. But the ministers should not be pocketing an extra 100% personal increase on their salaries every month. It is wrong from any angle that you put it,” said Browne. Amory and Brantley also collect two constituency allowances, two telephone allowances and two travelling allowance, one each from the NIA and the Federal Government.
“It appears to me that the Ambassador like many these days, just sit back and enjoy the perks. No work, but the government must pay for their salaries and their perks from poor people’s money every month. It used to be that we hear about Ambassadors being able to secure funding for different projects. Now it is just nothing,” said Browne, who again criticised Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Harris for giving revenue collected in St. Kitts to Premier Amory’s CCMN government in Nevis, whose CCM party holds two of the seven seats in the three party Federal coalition.
“I just can’t believe that with all the money sent over to Nevis, which Nevis was able to generate on its own only a couple of years ago, Nevis is now so darn dependent. Almost seems helpless. When before has Nevis ever have to ask for $10,000 to host the Leeward Island debate? What has Nevis come to?” asked Browne.
It was recently disclosed that the Federal Government has given EC$113 million in budgetary support to Premier Amory’s NIA. The Nevis Government also received EC$62 million from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) which Prime Minister Harris, Premier Amory and Deputy Premier Brantley called a “slush fund” while they were in opposition.
Under the 1983 Independence Constitution all revenues raised or received by the Nevis Island Administration go into the Nevis Consolidated Fund.
Section 91 however makes provision for the allocation of proceeds of taxes collected in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Subject to subsection (2), the proceeds of all taxes collected in Saint Christopher and Nevis under any law shall be shared between the Government and the Administration and the share of each shall be determined by reference to the proportion between the population of the island of Saint Christopher and the population of Saint Christopher and Nevis as a whole or, as the case may be, the population of the island of Nevis and the population of Saint Christopher and Nevis as a whole, as ascertained by reference to the latest available results of a census of those populations carried out in pursuance of a law enacted by Parliament.”
A previous Vance Amory-led NIA had pulled out of that financial arrangement in the early 1990’s when the economy of Nevis was doing better that the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis had to share its revenue with St. Kitts.