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Monday, September 12, 2005The following statement has been released by the Office of the Governor General in response to a release from the United Workers Party entitled ‘The Governor General’s Salary – Some are more equal that others”.

“Section 7 of The Governor General’s Emoluments and Pensions Act No. 4 of 1968 makes the following provisions for pension benefits for retired Governor Generals:

Two-fifths of annual salary if he/she has held office
for five (5) consecutive years or more;

A pension in proportion to the period served of the
five-year period if he/she held office for less than
five (5) consecutive years.

Accordingly, of the three retired Governor Generals – Mr. Boswell Williams, Sir Stanislaus James and Sir George Mallet, only Sir Stanislaus qualified for receipt of 2/5 of his annual salary as pension. If his salary was indeed $ 4,000.00 a month, he was entitled on retirement to a monthly pension of $ 1,600.00. The monthly pensions of the other two would be considerably less. The Principal Act however, allows a Governor General to continue receiving any other pensions in respect of previous service in the Permanent Civil Service, during the time that he/she holds the office of Governor General and after retirement, and provides for the payment of a gratuity immediately upon retirement: that amount was increased from 12.5 % to 25% of aggregate salary by an amendment to the Act in 1990 (Section 6, Act 13 of 1990).

The amendment to the Act which was recently passed in the House of Assembly pertains to retired Governor Generals only. The Living Allowance of $ 2,000.00 a month is to be paid to the three retired Governor Generals – Mr. Boswell Williams, Sir Stanislaus James and Sir George Mallet – not to the serving Governor General. The monthly pension is to be increased from 2/5 to 2/3 of their highest monthly salary with effect from January 1, 2005. The level of gratuity payable remains the same – 25% of aggregate salary received during their term of office.

Assuming that the salary of the current Governor General remains unchanged, she would have to remain in office for 35 years, i.e. until. 2032 to qualify for a gratuity of $ 840,000 as claimed in the statement released by the United Workers Party.

The terms and conditions of service of Governor Generals provide for payment of a tax-free salary, for a fully-serviced official residence, and for official vehicles of which there are two. The Governor General is however responsible for his/her own living expenses : the food he/she eats, the clothes he/she wears, his/her medical expenses, insurance coverage – medical or otherwise, private entertainment and contributions and donations to deserving causes. Where an Official Residence is not provided, as has been the case, a housing allowance is paid, which allowance is taken into account in the computation of total salary earnings for retirement benefits (Amendment Section 2 Act 13 of 1990)

While there was an increase in the Governor General’s salary upon her appointment, a review of the salaries paid to Governor Generals across the CARICOM region would determine whether the current salary level in Saint Lucia could be considered “outrageous”. Based on 2002 figures, the salary paid in Saint Lucia represents the third lowest among the ten jurisdictions – The OECS, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Belize –, 35% below the regional average, 40% below the median country, Grenada and 23% below the sub-regional average of the six OECS countries.”


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