PM Timothy Harris’ former Press SecretaryPhillip says get rid of CCM, then Team Unity
BASSETERE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 13th 2017 – With Nevis Island Administration (NIA) elections due by January 2018, Clecton Phillip, the former Press Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, is calling for the removal from office of the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) – a coalition partner in the three-party of the Federal government.
Premier of Nevis, Hon. Vance Amory is Minister of Finance, Statistics, Economic Planning, Education, Human Resources, Trade, Industry and Consumer Affairs in the Nevis Island administration n (NIA) in Charlestown and also Senior Minister and Minister of Labour and Ecclesiastical Affairs in the Federal Government in Basseterre.
Deputy Premier of Nevis, Hon. Mark Brantley is Minister of Tourism, Health, Gender, Social Affairs, Social Development, Youth, Sports, Community Development and Culture Telecommunications, Information in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) in Charlestown and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation in the Federal Government in Basseterre.
Phillip, who was ousted as General Secretary of Harris’ Peoples Labour Party (PLP) at the party’s inaugural conference in March at which he was not invited to attend, is also calling for the removal of the Federal Government in the next general elections constitutionally due in 2020.
In his call for the Federal and NIA “bums to be thrown out of office,” the former close confidant has become a fierce critic of the corruption, dictatorial attitude, arrogance, nepotism and cronyism of the Prime Minister.
Phillip lamented the non existence of a functioning Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Freedom of Information (FOI) and Integrity in Public Life (ILP.
“So they take from abow, from-below, from-aroun…from-Ren…from-all over de place. A list of projects in the pipeline to mamaguy you again, dey publish,” said Phillip on his FaceBook page.
He expressed the view that it is the people who should send a clear message to end the tradition of the snout in the trough and the deceitfulness.
“Make them understand that you are not settling for that and to fire dem in short order till you get de right mix,” he said, adding: “at the next opportunity, start in Nevis,” a reference to the upcoming NIA elections due by January 2018.
The collection of two salaries, two constituency allowances, two telephone allowances and two travelling allowances monthly by Amory and Brantley has been criticised by the opposition Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) in Nevis and the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) in St. Kitts.
The collection of two salaries and other perks paid each month to Amory and Brantley by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis combined, exceed EC$1 million annually.
Former Permanent Secretary in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and past President of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) in St. Kitts, Dr. Kelvin Daley said recently Amory and Brantley top the list as highest paid public officials in the Caribbean and questioned the two officials requesting economic and social development assistance from foreign leaders.
According to Dr. Daley Premier Amory takes home US$134,000 annually.
“When you combine both salaries in the NIA and Federal Estimates, the allowances, the per diem, constituency and travel allowances and other benefits it is over EC$1 million a year,” said Daley, who added that Nevis must be outraged that Premier Amory at the swearing-in of his Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) Cabinet in 2013 announced that he and is ministers were taking a ten percent pay cut, but by 2016, Amory and his ministers in Nevis were making 43 percent more than they made in 2013.
He said it was equally outrageous with the constant attempt by the Premier and Deputy Premier to justify the collection of two salaries and other emoluments.
“With all of the talk of unethical behaviour with the double salary issue, why haven’t our two parliamentarians in Nevis say ‘we have made an error of judgement, there is no way we can accept two salaries or should have accepted two salaries and the best thing to do is to give back one, pay back one, or give it to some needy families or poor families. We will continue with one salary,” said Daley, who said that in doubling down on the issue by Amory and Brantley, “I have heard every explanation under the sun as to why they are entitled to the two salaries monthly.”
“It is wrong, it is outrageous,” said Daley.
“Where is the Prime Minister (Dr. Timothy Harris) on this issue? He is condoning this. He is the highest authority in the Federation. It is causing us to look like a banana republic. He says it is not prohibited by law,” said Dr. Daley.
“There is something called ethics, good behaviour, good governance,” said Dr. Daley, who pointed out that where there were similar scenarios in previous administrations, the higher salary was received.
Prime Minster Harries is on record as stating that he gets the full attention of Amory and Brantley at the Federal level and their work as Premier and Deputy Premier of Nevis is a matter for the people of Nevis.
Dr. Daley said Amory and Brantley top the list of highest paid leaders in the Caribbean.
“If that is not embarrassing, I don’t know what is not,” said Dr. Daley, who pointed out that the Prime Minister of Guyana, is paid US$120,000. The Prime Minister of Barbados, US$101,000. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, US$67,000 and Jamaica is even lower.
Dr. Daley also question the acceptance by Amory and Brantley of EC$30,000 each annually in constituency allowance from the Federal Government in Basseterre.
“Neither of them has a constituency office in Nevis or in St. Kitts. If you want to see them you either wait on the Nevis pier when they are travelling to St. Kitts or pay $62 to go to St. Kitts to see them,” said Daley who disclosed that both Amory and Brantley take home a total of EC$108,000 in two allowances from the NIA and the Federal Governments.
Photo 1 – Mr. Clecton Phillip
Photo 2 – Hon. Vance Amory (left) and Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Photo 3 – Hon. Mark Brantley