Compulsory Retirement Age Act Produces Some Dissension


“Madame Speaker the cap fit me and I’m wearing it,” Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton declared in response to Leader of the Opposition. Julian Frasers’ comment “Madame Speaker if the cap fit maybe he should wear it.”

The two Legislators had the brief exchange of words during the debate on the Compulsory Retirement Age Act, 2016 when the House of Assembly met on 25 October.

The back and forth commenced with the mention by Hon. Skelton of the Standing Order that forbids one Member of the House from imputing ill will on another.

“Madame Speaker I must state here that section 38, Section IV of the Standing Order says that members should not impute bad motives on other members. I was here listening to the Leader of the Opposition insinuate that I am doing this for some private reason,” Hon. Skelton announced.

However, at that juncture, Hon. Fraser rose to his feet and denied knowledge of the ill will comments: “Madame Speaker on a point of information, I never mentioned the Minister for Health and Social Development or his name in any fashion. Madame Speaker, I don’t know where this comes from. If the cap fit him maybe he should wear it.”

At that point Hon. Skelton said: “Madame Speaker the cap fit me, and I’m wearing it, come on! The cap fitting me. Madame Speaker there is no doubt that the mover of the Bill, the Acting Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour moved the Bill and he said exactly who was pushing it. Madame Speaker, so there is no doubt the cap is on me. Let us don’t play games with the public.”

“Madame Speaker the Leader of the Opposition back in 2014 in a public broadcast — it’s in the papers — said that he is interested in raising the retirement age, so that poor people and those less fortunate will not have to be sent home. Now to be here insinuating that this government is doing it for some ulterior motive is not right, he knows it’s not right, but he thinks it resonates with people outside, but it doesn’t,” Hon. Skelton added.