Pension package also include free maids, bodyguards, drivers, duty-free concessions
‘This is nothing but a vulgar rape of the Treasury’ – former AG
People’s National Congress (PNC) stalwart Hamilton Green will next month begin receiving a multi-million-dollar pension package being calculated at almost $20 million annually, in a move that is being described as a “vulgar” rape of the Treasury.
The move comes in the form of a legislative package being piloted by the Finance Ministry under the hand of substantive Minister Winston Jordan who is scheduled to lay a Bill in the National Assembly next week that will give Hamilton Green a pension that is pegged to the current salary of the sitting Prime Minister.
Former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall has since calculated that this will result in Hamilton Green getting approximately $1.4 million as pension per month.
Additionally, Green will also get the facilities to which a former President is entitled; that is, free electricity, water, telephone, Internet, drivers, bodyguards, maids and office staff, as well as duty-free concessions.
This means that Green’s pension package amounts to in excess of $20 million annually.
News of the legislative package to benefit Green surfaced earlier this week when the National Assembly released its Order of Business for its next sitting on Monday.
According to the parliamentary Order of Business, Minister Jordan will present to the House, on behalf of the coalition Government, the “Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Bill”.
That Bill, according to the description in the Order Paper, will pave the way for an Act “to provide a pension, benefits and other facilities to Hamilton Green, Prime Minister from 1985 to 1992, to enable him to live in keeping with the high office he occupied”.
According to a report in today’s Guyana Times, the proposed legislation outlines that the Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Act 2016 shall come into operation on December 1, 2016.
The Bill inherently and explicitly states that the pension that Green is receiving since retirement shall be discontinued with effect November 30, 2016, in order to facilitate the larger package being catered for in the Bill.
According to the proposed provisions in the Bill, “Notwithstanding anything in the Pensions (President, Parliamentary and Special Offices) Act, Prime Minster Hamilton Green shall be paid a pension in accordance with Section 4 of the said Act based on the salary paid to the Prime Minister, as though he actually earned the said salary, taking into consideration his record of service as a legislator.”
Another of the provisions in the Bill, is that the former President (Benefits and Other Facilities) Act 2015 shall, subject to such modifications as may be necessary, apply to Prime Minster Hamilton Green and for that purpose wherever the word “President” occurs it shall be substituted by the words “Prime Minister.”
According to the proposed legislative package, “Prime Minister Hamilton Green shall continue to receive any other benefits and facilities provided for in any other law.”
Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, in lambasting the move by the coalition Government, recalled that Green served as Prime Minister from 2005 to 1992, “that is, an entire generation ago and before every person who is 25 years and younger were born…This is nothing but a vulgar rape of the Treasury.”
Nandlall is adamant there are many important issues affecting the welfare of “our people, especially our children and the elderly, that are competing for scarce financial resources which we are told cannot get done, yet this Government decides to use these scarce finances to give Green such a huge pension… Imagine, with all the problems facing the people of this country that (Green’s pension) is this Government’s priority.”
The former Attorney General, in his condemnation of Green’s package, recalled too that Green was getting a pension all along and that only recently, the City Council handed him a package which included guards, maids, etc.
“Worse yet, this plunder of the Treasury is being done by those who promised lean and clean government and who cuss out President (Bharrat) Jagdeo for years about his pension at every street corner and in every media house in this country… The hypocrisy is sickening.”
Nandlall said he maintains that never before in the history of the Caribbean were an electorate so comprehensively fooled and conned by a group of politician as this “[A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change] APNU/AFC did to the Guyanese electorate during the 2015 election’s campaign… I also maintain that not more than five thousand persons are benefiting from this Government.”
These, he said, includes the Cabinet, their family, relatives and friends and a few party hacks. “The working people of every race, including the public servants, teachers, Police, soldiers, farmers, tradesman, fishermen, bauxite workers, miners, loggers, rice farmers, sugar workers, vendors, businessmen, and the professionals continue to suffer in a stagnant economy presided over by an utterly incompetent Government.”
Green served as Guyana’s Prime Minister under the PNC Desmond Hoyte Administration, up until October 1992. In March 1993, Green sued the PNC for violation of his constitutional rights when that party at its Congress voted to expel him from the party.
The former Prime Minister and Mayor currently serves at the helm of the Central Planning and Housing Authority – a position he was appointed to following the May 2015 electoral victory by the PNC-led APNU/AFC coalition.