There are reports that at least one member of the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has received his gratuity payment from the current rulers.
The claim was made by political activist, Kennedy Budhlall who is associated with the New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
Appearing on a local radio station last Sunday, Budhlall claimed that Noel who is the current Deputy Chairman of Congress was given his gratuity payment due following the 2013 change of government in order to help him service a bank loan for his vehicle.
He spoke of NDC not being in a financial position to help Noel who served as Minister of state in the Ministry of Lands & Housing in 2008-13 and he had to turn to his former colleague minister Peter David who has since team up with NNP for assistance.
According to Budhlall who served with David as a member of the disbanded People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution, Noel’s difficulty was taken by David to the attention of Prime Minister Mitchell who is also the country’s Finance Minister and a decision was taken to pay him his gratuity.
“They had some money for him (Noel) inside there (government) and they released that money to make sure he (Noel) save his vehicle,” Budhlall told the host of the programme.
Former Prime Minister Thomas has often called on Dr. Mitchell to pay the gratuity due to Parliamentarians who served in the Congress government.
Thomas who raised the issue at a recent public meeting of the NDC at Snell Hall, St. Patrick’s indicated that after two years in office, the Mitchell Administration is still refusing to pay past Parliamentarians their gratuity.
The former Prime Minister indicated that the norm in the country is that after every General Election is held, Parliamentarians are paid a gratuity.
He disclosed that within three months of forming the government in 2008, Congress paid the outgoing NNP Parliamentarians, including Dr. Mitchell, their gratuity.
“Now it is about two years (and) they have not paid us yet,” he told the public meeting.
The former Prime Minister believes that the refusal of the NNP Government to pay Congress Parliamentarians their gratuity is based on spite, and victimisation.
He believes Grenada might be the only country in the Commonwealth where Parliamentarians have to wait for over two years to receive their gratuity.
Thomas indicated that one of the main focus of any government is to make its citizens comfortable and described the current Rulers as “a burden to the people of Grenada.”
THE NEW TODAY understands that the former Parliamentarians including ex-Prime Minister Thomas were paid their outstanding gratuity about a month ago.
When in opposition in 2008-13, Dr. Mitchell had lashed out at Congress for not paying him salaries owed to him for the last two weeks as head of the NNP government.