Member of Parliament for St. George North-east, Tobias Clement appears to be the most highly paid Parliamentarian in the country.
Checks made by THE NEW TODAY reveal that Clement is earning close to EC$20, 000.00 a month following his victory at the polls in the February 19 general elections.
The St. George North-east MP is one of three victorious candidates of the New National Party (NNP) who were not offered ministerial portfolios by Prime Minister Mitchell following the clean sweep of the New National Party (NNP) at the polls.
Clement, who is originally from the sister isle of Petite Martinique, is currently employed at St. George’s University at a salary of approximately US$5000.00 or EC$13, 584.50 per month.
An investigation carried out by this newspaper discovered that the St. George North-east MP is also getting an additional $5717.00 per month in salaries and allowances as a Minister without an assignment portfolio in the eleven month old administration.
This additional salary takes Clement’s take home pay at close to EC$20, 000.00 a month along with his monthly salary with SGU.
His wife is also said to be working with SGU for a more than average monthly salary.
A senior government official told THE NEW TODAY that the additional monthly salary paid to Clement as a Minister without Portfolio is also given to Yolande Bain (Member of Parliament for St. Andrew South-west and Clifton “Pablo” Paul (MP for St. Patrick East from the Budget of the Houses of Parliament.
He said the payments made to all three non-government ministers are done made in keeping with the pronouncement made by Prime Minister Mitchell that all Members of Parliament will be paid an equal salary regardless of whether or not they are appointed to Ministerial positions.
Up to the time of going to press, THE NEW TODAY was not able to make contact with Clement on his reported two monthly salaries.
However, one of his constituents sought to defend the payment by alluding to the fact that there are MP’s who were also getting pension apart from their monthly salaries as a member of the NNP government.
At the last sitting of Parliament, the Government Side presented answers to several questions raised by Labour representative in the Senate, Raymond Roberts on the salaries paid to government members since the February poll.
The document showed that Prime Minister Mitchell was earning $EC 8818.00 per month in salaries, duty allowances and entertainment.
Unlike senior government ministers who were getting a telephone allowance of $57.00 per month, the document showed that Prime Minister Mitchell was not getting any telephone allowances which seem to suggest that he was paying his telephone charges from his own pocket.
But when contacted former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas said that the State did not make any allowances for his telephone calls.
According to the former Prime Minister, he did not use to pay any bills for use of his cell phone since he was Leader of the Opposition based on an arrangement with local telecoms provider, LIME.
He said the company had given him a cell phone for his use and they covered the expenses.
Thomas did not know if the same situation existed with current Prime Minister Mitchell.
The documents provide to the Senate showed that the take home pay of Cabinet Ministers were $7,117.00 per month made up of a basic salary of $5,660.00, plus $1,000.00 a month as a Duty Allowance, $400.00 per month for entertainment and $57.00 for telephone charges. The document makes no mention of travel allowance.
According to the document, Parliamentary Secretaries like Sen. Winston Garraway, Simon Stiell, and Sheldon Scott were making $6,115.00 a month in salaries and other allowances.
The Parliamentary Secretaries were getting a basic salary of $3,658.00 per month, and the usual $57.00 per month to cover telephone charges.
However, unlike the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers, the government senators who held positions as Parliamentary Secretaries were getting a special allowance of $2,000.00 per month on top of their salaries under the heading of “Personal”.