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Premier vows to repeal HoA Retirement Act & consult independent body

- promises to rework entire bill from scratch
Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) and Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has vowed to repeal the House of Assembly’s Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act 2021, and even suggested that an independent body should be tasked with creating a pension plan. Photo: GIS
Premier Wheatly was at the time speaking as a telephone guest during this Morning’s March 27, 2023, edition of ‘Da Morning Braff’ radio show with host Floyd Burnett aka 'Heritage' on ZBVI 780am. Photo: Facebook
Premier Wheatly was at the time speaking as a telephone guest during this Morning’s March 27, 2023, edition of ‘Da Morning Braff’ radio show with host Floyd Burnett aka 'Heritage' on ZBVI 780am. Photo: Facebook
FAT HOGS BAY, Tortola, VI– Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) and Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has vowed to repeal the House of Assembly’s Retiring Allowances Legislative Service Amendment Act 2021, and even suggested that an independent body should be tasked with creating a pension plan.

Premier Wheatley was at the time speaking as a telephone guest during ‘Da Morning Braff’ radio show with host Floyd Burnett aka 'Heritage' on Tola Radio VI on March 27, 2023.

I have not collected a dime - Premier Whealtey 

“I have not collected a dime because, obviously, I'm not retired and I'm going to the people of the Seventh District and I'm asking them for the opportunity to represent them again.

“I'm going to make sure, go to whatever Attorney General and whatever lawyers, to make sure that not just myself, but anybody who is in the House of Assembly that it's not going to be a situation where they're going to be collecting this type of package again,” he said.

Premier Wheatley, speaking at the Eighth District campaign launch at East End on Thursday, March 23, 2023, said one former legislator, Mr Myron V. Walwyn, already collected some $276,000.00 lump sum before deciding to criticise the bill.

“I went to every single member and told them I want to get this thing repealed. Everyone, not just cabinet…It is only after I went to the leader of the NDP he ran publicly and said he is going to repeal it,” the Premier claimed in reference to Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8).

The Premier added that Hon Penn also reportedly received legal advice on whether repealing the bill will affect his retirement package or others in the House.

Bill was wrong & must be repealed - Premier 

Dr The Hon Wheatley, speaking during the radio show, admitted that the legislation is wrong and that if elected he would work with the private sector to ensure salaries are commensurate with roles and responsibilities across the board. 

“Part of the problem we have with this Retirement Bill is that it has been determined by legislators… there should be an independent body that will look across the world, look at economies similar to our size, to determine what is fair based on your roles and responsibilities,” he said.

The Premier also committed to a salary review for public servants in areas of teaching, nursing and other areas. “We only focus on legislators, but we have people heading statutory bodies who make more than legislators and permanent secretaries,” he added.

37 Responses to “Premier vows to repeal HoA Retirement Act & consult independent body”

  • Hmm (28/03/2023, 08:19) Like (45) Dislike (13) Reply
    After you qualify then you will change it. You take us for fools to elect you again.
    • TAlK IS CHEAP!!! (28/03/2023, 09:04) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
      Should’ve done that before.

      You all passed about 20 Bills just before HOA dissolved so that should have been one on them.
  • dont mind he (28/03/2023, 08:31) Like (37) Dislike (4) Reply
  • Roll The Dice (28/03/2023, 08:42) Like (16) Dislike (9) Reply
    We are going to try our luck with a woman this time because ayo men failed us big time !!!!
  • Dancing with the Stars (28/03/2023, 09:01) Like (13) Dislike (18) Reply
    The Hon. Premier must be commended for that bold move to repeal the Pension fund act that whas given the retired politician a substantial pension. When the independent body conduct the assessment and submit the recommendation then no one will blame the members of the House of Assembly for giving an increase of pension to themselves.
    • @ Dancing with the stars (28/03/2023, 09:53) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
      I agree....trouble is, C Skeltin clyne will probably be given the consultancy contact and take 2 years to produce nothing :-)

      serious though, an independent should developed a retirement package should be either a lump sum or a monthly package...but not both..
  • Gov Employee (28/03/2023, 09:02) Like (36) Dislike (2) Reply
    Where is our increments!
  • Pension plan solution (28/03/2023, 09:16) Like (20) Dislike (9) Reply
    Here's the plan showande. If you suck as a minister of government, you get voted out, go find a regular job and wait until you attain the pension age of 65 before you get a pension like regular people. With immediate effect starting with you.
    • Lb (29/03/2023, 07:18) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      People like you are the problem! Crab in a bucket! Our leaders are not regular people and should not be treated like so-called regular people. Their sacrifices Daily go above and beyond. But we hate to see our own, even our leaders, do better than us! Sad!
  • resident (28/03/2023, 09:19) Like (28) Dislike (4) Reply
    slowande think we are idiots
  • Political analyst (28/03/2023, 09:24) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why wait until the goat strolled leisurely through the wide open gate and gone to get concerned about the gate being open. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Most legislators voted for the overly generous bill and now some complaining/moaning ( more like crocodile tears) that it is egregious and want to repeal it. Why? How do you vote for a bill in one breadth and in other breath say it is egregious? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!!!. Road Town we got a problem!! Some members have already collected so how will this process be equalize? Will the people who already collect get grandfathered and others be fed from the new trough. Notice that most legislators, as well as hopefuls are as quiet as church mouses on this issue. Self-interest perhaps. Nevertheless, unless, the electorate aggressively demand that the bill be repealed it is not going to be. People, pressure burst pipe. Look at the situation in Israel. The prime minister who is allegedly being investigated for corruption was attempting to change and control the independent judiciary, giving him greater control of it. Israelis wanted to maintain the independence of the judiciary and have been protesting consistently for weeks, weeks. Hundred of thousands protested peacefully. The PM blink and withdrew the bill at least for now.

    Moreover, the public sector needs a modernized pension scheme. It needs a sinking fund pension scheme for civil servants and elected officials. Currently, there is no sinking fund, and neither civil servants nor elected officials contributed anything to their retirement. Retirees are paid from the annual O&M budget. Is retiree pay guaranteed? What priority does retirees pay have in the O&M budget? How big is the pension unfunded liability? Is it approaching $440M by now? A pension scheme is needed whereby both employees and the employer, government, contributes. Of course, there will need some grandfathering for some current and former employees.
    • Retiree (28/03/2023, 11:44) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      I’m retired from government but never thought about the surety of my pension. Indeed, how guaranteed is much pension if there are problems with the budget since retiree pay is a line item in Operations and Maintenance budget? What is the retiree pension priority if the budget has challenges? Something to think about. Can someone reassure that my pension will keep coming. These are things legislators should be thinking about. Instead, they are focused on giving themselves BIG fat raises. Bunch of parasites, sucking the taxpayers, the host, dry. Why do I vote? I vote they do what they Ehst. I don’t vote they will do what they want. But we have ourselves to blame, for some us are happy with the crumbs falling from the table or slopping at the trough and that makes us, some us, happy.
      • Well Mai Boi (28/03/2023, 18:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Well, Mai Boi, I thought my two cents was secure. What is the probability of pensions not being paid first in a budget crisis? Is that in policy or will be up to the powers that be? Can pensions be separated out of regular budget?
    • Finance Novice (28/03/2023, 11:51) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Can someone explain what a sinking fund and how is it different from a pension scheme. How will both apply to current employees and retired employees?
      • @Finance Novice (28/03/2023, 14:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        Simply, a sinking fund is a fund in which money is set aside regularly to meet a debt, obligation, ie, paying retirees inns pension scheme. A sinking fund and pension scheme are relatively the same thing. The local financial wizards can set me straight. Typically, in a pension scheme or sinking fund, both employer and employee make regular, periodic contributions to the fund. The scheme can be either a) define benefit or b) define contributions. Moreover, neither elected officials or civil servants contribute any money to a fund while they working. As Political Analyst noted public sector employees, including elected officials, in the BVI don’t contribute anything to their retirement. Nada. In fact there is no dedicated pension scheme, it seems. And retirees are from from an annual appropriated O&M budget.
  • WHAT!!!! (28/03/2023, 09:25) Like (40) Dislike (4) Reply
    But you already voted to pass but now you want votes so tell us you will get rid of it.
    Taking us for fools.
  • herbs power (28/03/2023, 09:43) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
    Yes, wait until election and tell them what they want to hear while hoping to get elect again. But what about your actions before election? As deputy cat has your tongue.
  • People please dont fall for this (28/03/2023, 10:06) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is a trick
    • It is not (28/03/2023, 12:20) Like (7) Dislike (8) Reply
      I believe he will change the bill to be fair to tax payers.

      Furthermore, amend pension act so that private sector mirrors government. Ppl in private sector out here working until 70-75 years to make ends meet - in humane!
  • Common Sense (28/03/2023, 11:01) Like (35) Dislike (8) Reply
    Sorry Mr Premier, but, releasing personal information about a fellow politician is a blatant abuse of Parliamentary privilege, and, as a leader of the country you should know better.
    • @common sense (28/03/2023, 11:25) Like (12) Dislike (25) Reply
      It is not personal and confident information. He was paid with taxpayers dollars so the public has a need. Walwyn came out railing against the bill after collecting the money. But he failed to tell the public he had already fed at the trough. Why did he not tell the public he had collected but still think the bill was awful. Was he advocating for passage of the bill?
      • Common Sense (28/03/2023, 13:08) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
        Incorrect, under UK Parliamentary regulations you can attack the party, attack a policy, but, under no condition can you attack a fellow minister regardless of what they have done, or, accused of doing.
  • VOTE SMART (28/03/2023, 13:39) Like (20) Dislike (3) Reply
    I encourage everyone NOT TO VOTE for anyone who currently has one term in office because they are not eligible for a full pension as yet. If we elect them for a second term they will become eligible and we the taxpayers will have to pay their pension of $5000 or more per month for each politician FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE, as well as the $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) or more lump sum that EACH OF THEM will be eligible for after working for a mere 8 years, even if it is repealed. The repeal will not affect those who are there now. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to break our backs for 25-30 plus years to get a fraction of that. Time to act like we have sense. They are helping themselves, not us, but we the taxpayers have to carry the cost and work longer and harder than them. IT IS WRONG AND MUST BE REPEALED.
    • RealPol (28/03/2023, 15:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      Is it true that if the law is repeal the repeal benefits will still apply to current elected officials. Laws passed by HoA can be repealed by HoA unlike items in constitution element which have to negotiated with the UK. No doubt repeal will presents some fairness complexities. Who has already collected gratuities?
    • @ VOTE SMART (28/03/2023, 17:44) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Get this message out to the masses so they don't vote like a set of blind a*ses.
    • Slavery (28/03/2023, 18:25) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      your comment is so damn true I could cry! These politicians are like legal criminals! couldn't say it any better!
    • Lb (29/03/2023, 07:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are not like the rest of us! It is amazing the crab in barrel mentality you have. Even your ladders you don’t want to see doing better than you. Let’s keep them down on our level. Your sacrifice for country is not the same as our leaders. Stop it! Full of hate and envy!
  • Sowande again.. (28/03/2023, 14:14) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Who ever get it has to repeal this greedy bill and revisit the first one.. or it will be an uprising in this country, It will be repeal has to be and I truly believe Sowande will do it. After all his commitment to do so he can't come with any excuses, # SowandeforPremier.
  • oh okay (28/03/2023, 14:25) Like (7) Dislike (6) Reply
    Then Myron and the rest whom collect need to return Government money simple as that!! So don't come on fb playing you wasn't greedy also.
    • VI Gyal (28/03/2023, 16:24) Like (12) Dislike (9) Reply
      he did not get funds for the greedy bill. he got what he was entitled too as a two term (8 years) legislature which was always law.

      People please learn and understand.
      • @VI Gyal (28/03/2023, 20:12) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        That is incorrect. He benefited from the change in definition of "maximum salary" to include allowances. His payment would not have been so high if that definition was not changed and that definition was changed under the greedy bill. Please educate yourself. Do not follow a party blindly. Party politics is dead. Both the first and the second part of the greedy bill is bad! It all must go...dont let no politician fool you. If the retirement salary for civil servants does not take into account allowances, it should not for legislators either! The entire 2021 Amendment must be rolled back not just the 2nd part!
  • RedStorm (28/03/2023, 15:06) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Repeal it NOW! We will hold you to this promise!
  • tribeca (28/03/2023, 18:59) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
    NDP team can blog all they want but we're voting for Sowande. You can try to spin it all you want but we're voting for Sowande. Sowande is the only one who listens to the people. The NDP1&2 are still trying to justify their last government and the decisions they made. They haven't learned to listen to the people and Sowande does that. End of story.
  • east (28/03/2023, 19:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This pension age beds to drop! I want that in the next house sitting; What about people what already worked for over 40 years.. No young dependents!! What happens to our money if don’t make 65?? We want our money now!! Look into that before election!! I’m not voting for Jack!!

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