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Eustace questions government consultants’ salaries

Eustace questions government consultants’ salaries



With total pay packages ranging from EC $48,000 to $127,920 a year, and a $91,000 average, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace believes that some persons contracted by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines are overpaid for functions he claims are unspecified and irrelevant.{{more}}

The Opposition Leader believes that some of these persons should be fired, and their salaries be made available for the reclassification exercise which is soon to be reviewed.

Speaking at the New Democratic Party’s press conference on Tuesday, the former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance stated that following the advice of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, he decided to research the sharp increase in the number of persons who have been given contracts in the public service.

He said that their posts were not found in the 2008 estimates.

Eustace revealed that his search uncovered nine contracts, costing tax payers EC$820,316 so far; he predicts that more will be uncovered, and he will make these available when they come to hand.

He indicated that the contracts in his possession were that of Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs Herman Belmar, Director of Grenadines Affairs Edwin Snagg, Communications Specialist in the Ministry of Health’s HIV/AIDS Unit Theresa Daniel, Security Advisor in the Ministry of National Security Sir Vincent Beache, Communications Consultant Elson Crick, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Hans King, Executive Assistant in the Ministry of Transportation and Works Juliette George, Trade Unionist Burns Bonadie and former Commissioner of Police William Harry.

The information circulated by Eustace indicates that lowest package goes to Theresa Daniel, who receives $48,388 annually, while Sir Vincent was the highest earner with $127,920.

Herman Belmar’s salary, duty allowance and travel totals $75,894, while Snagg, in addition to duty allowance and travel, also receives allowances for housing, entertainment and telephone. He is also entitled to a gratuity, taking his total package to $118,095.

King, Bonadie and Crick earn total annual pre-tax pay packages of $82,750, $100,099 and $77,100, respectively, while Harry and George receive $89,975 and $100,095.

Eustace went on to indicate that he is uncertain of the job description of some of these people, as the contracts did not indicate what their responsibilities were.

The Opposition Leader also had some words of advice for Dr. Gonsalves, urging the Prime minister to watch his language.

According to Eustace, it is the Prime Minister who is backward for his lack of understanding of the reclassification process, and for declaring the country’s B1 credit rating as good, when it appears to be poor, and for his ignorance of the distinction between disbursed and outstanding debt and contracted debt.