Below is a statement of the Hon Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, relating to the Judges Salaries and Pensions (Amendment) Bill, and the Retiring Allowance (Legislative) Amendment Bill.
“It is rare that the Government and the Opposition ever agree on anything.
The Judges Salaries and Pensions (Amendment) Bill, 2013 (www.ttparliament.org/about.php?mid=36&id=mr692CF5} and the Retiring Allowances (Legislative) Amendment Bill 2013 were passed in the House with the full support of the Opposition.
The Retired Judges Association has also come out in full support of the said Bill which impacts their representative group.
Notwithstanding this level of agreement, there have been strong objections in some quarters to the Bills. Consistent with my policy of always allowing views to be ventilated and decisions arrived at after such due consideration the government’s current position would be not to proceed with approving the Bills until all perspectives and opinions are ventilated. The Senate debate on the said Bills which commences today will allow for some of these perspectives and opinions to be ventilated.
Further, the government expresses its willingness to refer the matter to a Senate Select Committee for review should such a procedure be agreed to by all parties in the Senate debate.? Yet further the government expresses its willingness to accept and adhere to the recommendations made by the Senate Select Committee.
At the end of the day, the national interest is what must be served.”
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago