LETTER: Time for Antiguans and Barbudans to Recognize the Value of Adequate Ministerial Pay


Dear Editor,

It is time for Antiguans and Barbudans to grow up. Sly J always says that the national disease is bad-minded-ness and while I agree, I think it goes deeper.

We have to add ignorance. It is amazing that in a country that has had free education for generations, we still have so many people who are functionally illiterate, unable to think and reason.

Is $10,000 any kind of money to pay a government minister who actually works seven days per week from about 5am to late into the night? Many MPs on both sides will tell you that constituents call them or visit their homes from early in the morning.

They have constituency and government issues to deal with all day. So, this is not about ABLP or UPP.

This is about a Minister, who is in charge of managing ministries and the government. They are managing a whole country.

But aside from that the Minister is the CEO – Chief Cook and Bottlewasher – he is accountable. When anything goes wrong whether it be roads, hospital, electricity, water – it is the Minister.

CEOs and General Managers in the Private Sector – in banks, Communications Companies, Hotels etc earn a minimum of upward of $18,000 to $20,000 plus perks.

The National Parks Commissioner makes upward of $18,000 and the CEO of the Tourism Authority makes $20,000.

The CEO of company where government owns 51% of the shares makes $40,000 per month. LIAT pilots were earning a minimum of $20,000 per month and working a few days per month.

So, Ministers of Government are overseeing staff who make double their salary.

This makes no sense. Plus those Minister who have wives have to find money to but the prerequisite dresses and gowns for all the functions they have to attend.

The male can get away with 2 suits. A woman cannot.

And we expect these people to represent us by portraying the very best image.

If we expect to attract the best people to manage our affairs, we have to pay them properly.

When we pay them properly and they do not function, then we justifiably vote them out.























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  1. Dear Denzil

    How much did Gaston pay you to write this, unless its him who wrote it.

    Why should they get an increase when they are involved in ALL SORTS OF ENRICHMENT SCHEMES and businesses competing with ordinary citizens.

  2. When yall actually do a better job at bettering antigua then yall should see more money
    Roads horrible, taxes increasing yet we have to pay more for yall to play dress up to functions that’s not even benefiting us the antiguans really. We are working as well to provide for our families and loved ones, we don’t see 10,000 a month lol most of us are working for 500-700 dollars a week depending their work and position and yall carried up the taxes it doesn’t affect the ministers but it affects the community. We don’t need to pay yall any more money because yall aren’t doing what is best for antigua, all the little ham and turkey yall give out for y’all to stay in power yet the same things been said over and over again and no change. Yall need to do better instead of asking for more money

  3. As nationals, we value work when we see work. And while 10-12k + perks + perks may not be a big deal, how about giving consideration to the countless families/households who have to make do with a meager 2-4k a month. The concern here should be, “how do people survive on that salary/income when the price of consumer goods and service continue to climb?

  4. Whoever you maybe. If politicians were really doing their job besides having the country in a hot mess, with everything out of control. The politicians are not doing anything besides thief.

  5. It never ceases to amaze that when one of our peoples make perfect sense our peoples have nothing to say about it and we resort to insulting each other and saying the most nasty things about each other. We definitely need to raise our discourse and we need to think seriously about our future and our children’s and their children’s future instead of hating and insulting one another. That’s not adult behaviour.

  6. Give me a break! Not one ah dem minister wuk fram marning to nite.
    It wasn’t to long ago when a pointe FM radio host wrote on FB that his mother had a medical emergency and was being ignored by the medical staff at the SLBMC. He wrote that he called the health minister MORE THAN 10 TIMES and the minister DIDN’T answer his phone. He later changed that statement but a screen shot was already taken.
    So yu damn lie wen yu say dem tek phone call and wuk from 5am to late night.

  7. As the writer said Antiguans simply cannot reason. The writer was clear. We are not dealing with this government or ABLP or UPP or what ever comes in the future. CEOs work for serious money in Antigua, and around the world. My sister is in an executive position in a big company in the US and she would laugh at the CEO $20,000 and up salaries in Antigua. Why is this country so polarised? I weep for the stupidity that exists here.

    • You’re comparing Antigua to the USA; and a US CEO salary of a private entity to 🇦🇬n government ministers whose salaries comes from taxes.
      Why don’t you look into how much money the average Antiguan tax payer makes per month before you run off you damn mouth with your bullshit.

      • Well said @ 👁👁, this chap OTTO, is comparing apples 🍏 🍏 🍏 with oranges 🍊🍊🍊.

        A much better comparison would have been with another or similar Caribbean country.

        I weep for the ignorance of this commentator!

  8. Stop fighting for the politicians that’s fighting to steal from you in whatever self enrichment schemes possible..
    Free water
    Free light
    Free, Free, while you pay pay pay
    No social programs to help the less fortunate

  9. Politics has never been about money, it has always been designed as a service to your country and people, so if that’s not your philosophy about getting into politics, then stay away. Imagine a preacher asking for a raise, really. These type of jobs were never design to get rich, especially in a democratic society, but these greedy fools cannot keep their hands out of the peoples kitty at all.

    A salary should not be anyone’s objective that’s in politics, and if that’s your idea of running for a seat, you might as well sit your butt home.

    Pay the people first before you pay yourself…that’s the mark of a good leader…”Service”.

  10. These ALP scamps need a pay cut! Our MP’s are the worst in the WI. Bird people too thief! Go and find honest work to do outside of government.

  11. NO DENZIL NO!!!

    This age old argument doesn’t hold, simply because those elected Members Parliamentarians are rarely qualified for their positions.

    For example, you can have, say for example, a Minister of Health without a qualifying Doctorate Degree to do the job of a qualified person; or Minister of Finance, who hasn’t run a major company successfully (or even a business); and can even a Minister of Education who has never taught pupils in their lives, or never been a head teacher or college professor do so?

    My point being, is that those who have earned their qualifications and worked in their particular field deserve the higher pay rates, but not a politician that could one day be Minister for Sport and Recreation, and then in two twos become Minister for Science and Technology without the appropriate qualification(s).


    And commentators like @ Denzil thinks this is fine.

    Remember, you can always trust Brixtonian to put an opposing viewpoint that make people sit-up and think 🤔

  12. In reply to the no name 2 eyes emblem person. A CEO, any where in the world works for serious money. A CEO cannot be compared to what you call an ‘ordinary Antiguan’. Get real. The writer quoted salaries of CEOs in Antigua. Did you read? I am a CEO of a fairly large local company. I make EC$28,000 per month plus perks. The company is profitable because of my leadership and management. A Minister is like a CEO. Now if the people go and vote in dodo birds and make them Ministers/CEOs, then that is on the electorate.

    • Can this asshole read? Exactly where in my comment did I compare a CEO to “ordinary Antiguans?” Or, was my mention of ordinary Antiguans in relation to the fact that it’s their taxes that are paying the salaries of the Antiguan government ministers — who have decided to give themselves a 14% pay raise?

  13. If you are a minister of government or pastor and you are okay accepting money far beyond what other public servants are getting then I promise you, you are not there for the people.

    I always say, if I become a pastor or minister of government, I will not be wealthy, because I am using the resources given to me for the people. These areas are not areas in which you enter into with hope of making the kind of big money I see them mentioning here.

    I believe pastors and ministers of government should reject salaries or demand salary that is similar to what other public servants gets.

    Nothing they say can change the heart of a decent, fair, Godly man pertaining to serving the people they are in charge of.

    Everything in this article is rubbish. Even the US with trillions of dollars pays the president pennies, and still too high for me, in comparison to what this writer and ministers are demanding for corrupting, I mean running, a small island of Antigua and Barbuda.

    However, ignorant Antiguans will just sit there and accept this nonsense. If I ever enter politics or become a pastor, I want $0 and if I have to take a salary, it will be comparable to the average salary of regular government employees.

    I want to say locals deserve this horrible treatment but my heart cannot be evil. I still feel compelled to fight for justice even when those being treated unjustly do not even care for themself.

    I am man who strongly believe these kinds of works must be done by those with a pure heart and those who are already successful or care nothing for money and materials. Pastors and government leaders.

  14. I don’t see Antigua parliamentarians suffering. They are building the biggest mansions in Antigua and driving the most expensive cars. If things are so bad with them, where are they getting the money from.

  15. Personally I think that the pay that people get should be for a good reason other than simply job status. E.g. people should be paid enough to be able to afford safe housing, a healthy diet, clothing, modern utilities, transportation, childcare etc. for themselves AND their families as well as any supplies they need to get their work done as productively as possible e.g. if the job requires you to be there all day they should pay more to cover transportation, childcare and lunch than a job. Otherwise to cut costs, the job should offer the flexibility of working varied schedules or from home etc. or the job should provide more shared resources to workers so they don’t have to spend as much out of their own pockets. Many times workers can’t work as efficiently as they would like to because the pay here for the people doing the actual work is too low compared to the cost of living. For jobs that pay more such as doctors and pilots, many people don’t realize that it’s not the status alone that leads to higher pay. They have to be able to come to work at any hour of the day or night. So, they have to be able to maintain their vehicles. They are also responsible for a lot of lives. So, they have to go home to a comfortable house and sleep in peace. They can’t be distracted by figuring out what to eat and how to spend that last $10. They are also putting their lives at risk everyday. If something happens to them, they have to be able to leave something for their children. So, they need more money upfront. For CEO’s they often have to travel for meetings etc. and sometimes they had to study hard and pay for qualificationsbin their young days and need to be compensated for that and the knowledge and expertise they acquired. However, truth is many of them accidentally make a lot of money they don’t really earn or need just because they hold the money bag and after all the other workers are paid they sometimes take extra for themselves. Any good CEO would make sure the workers are well compensated before taking extra that they don’t really need because when all the workers are comfortable, the business can reach maximum productivity and profitability and that is the CEOs job to maximise business earnings. Good CEOs also reinvest a lot of the profits back into the business to make it operate even better for all. And once the company is running smoothly like a well-oiled machine, the best CEOs share the extra profits with the workers – the people whose daily efforts are making the business profitable – so that everyone can live well not just them. Politicians here already get free everything or allowances for everything from their jobs – housing, utilities, transportation so it’s not clear what they need extra money for? especially retroactively? The only reason I think they might need it is to help reduce their temptations towards corruption. Politicians should be paid well enough to avoid corruption. But, how much is enough for that? I suppose they also need to save a few dollars in case they get kicked out and need to start a business if they find it hard to find work in the real world after politics? Or perhaps a lot of people ask them for help so they need more to give away (They should just direct those persons to the appropriate government agency in place to address their problem.) The best politicians, one would imagine, go into to politics because they really want to improve the lives of the citizens by improving the functioning of the government. Once they are paid enough to take care of their families, they are happy. However, in this little island where living is expensive and salaries are low, many people get into it so they can have control of the resources and get in on international deals with rich people and co-operations. Those kinds will never be satisfied with any sized paychecks.

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