The near three-fold increase in the stipend for senators that was recommended by technocrats at the Ministry of Finance will not be implemented after all.
The recommendation to increase the stipend paid to senators who are not Cabinet ministers from $53,000 per sitting to $148,000 is contained in a September 14 circular that was sent to Gordon House.
However, on Tuesday the Minister of Finance and the Planning Service Dr Nigel Clarke announced that the recommended increase will not be implemented.
Clarke explained in a news release that since media reports of an increase began making the rounds, he has asked the Financial Secretary to rescind the letter which outlined the proposed increase.
“I wish to make it clear that these increases will not be implemented. As such I have asked the financial secretary to write to the clerk with instructions to rescind her letter of September 14, 2023. The correspondence from the clerk followed from a Cabinet decision of 2008 that automatically indexed the stipend of the senators to the highest fee paid for service as a board director on a public body board,” Clarke’s statement said.
He noted that “immediately prior to this 2008 decision, senators were being paid $1,000 per meeting and the highest public body board fee was $6,000 per meeting.”
He disclosed that when public body board fees were last increased in 2019, Senate stipends were automatically adjusted as per the 2008 Cabinet decision. Those adjustments took effect in April 2020.
The recommendation to increase the stipend to $148,000 from $53,000 was reportedly being examined by the government.