During VIP Let’s Talk radio program on 4 March a resident called in and complained that some public servants did not receive the increment that was promised to them. The caller told the panel: “I have a concern here, the Premier said he would be giving the civil servants their increments and what’s not that they owe them, and we haven’t received it as yet.”
In response First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie said: “I have maintained then and now that I have seen absolutely no reason why the public servants would not have received the increment that was already due to them upon this new administration taking office. I want to make it clear — increments are not automatic, as people would know your supervisor have to evaluate you and then they will decide if you are getting the increment.”
“Some people want to place the argument in front that just be glad that you have a job, and don’t worry about the increments. That would have been good if other monies that we are seeing now were not spent. Then you could say that they really were doing some cuts,” Hon. Fahie said.
The Opposition Member added: “When you are claiming that you could not pay the public servants because of the finances as you stated…And the country was left for broke. Then you come and you ask questions in the House about monies spent especially in the areas of consultancies and to our surprise three years later for the country that was broke we are up to 18.4 million dollars and counting; because all the questions were not answered so all the amounts were not brought to the House.”
In tying the consultancy figures to the owed increments, Hon. Fahie stated: “To come and justify now that you cannot pay the public servants and see not only consultancies, but many other areas where huge sums of money and justifiably they might be justified in terms of the value for money for these consultancies; that is not the point I am getting at, at all. The point I am getting at is that you had the money to hire them. The public servants already earned their increment in 2011 when they took office there was already something that they earned; so it should have been given to them….”
“When you finally gave them the increment I think they only got 50%. Then to come in 2012 don’t give it to them, and continue to spend in areas that are coming out more and more now in the millions… It raises a lot of red flags on why the public servants could not be given their increments; and it is nothing more than something around three to five million dollars overall it would have been to give them the increment that is owed to them from 2011 to present. We are not talking about an outstanding amount of money that cannot be handled,” Hon. Fahie stated.
The Legislator also suggested that the owed increments might have been planned. He announced: “I don’t see any excuse, I think that it was part of a public relations campaign to make it seem like that was one of the reasons they were holding back the money to get their finances under control. Every indication that they have said in the House of Assembly, not me, that they have said when we asked them — shows that they are telling us one thing in terms of the finances of the Territory, but another thing is really the fact.”