Social Activist Dr. Kelvin Daley Joins Voices Condemning Unconstitutional Salary Increase by NIA Parliamentarians

In a powerful show of solidarity, social activist Dr. Kelvin Daley has joined former advisor Duncan Wattley, NRP Leader Dr. Janice Hodge-Daniel, and concerned citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis in condemning the recent 15% salary increase taken by the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) parliamentarians. Dr. Daley has supported his condemnation by asserting that the increase is unconstitutional, a sentiment echoed by many in the community.

The Constitutional Violation

Dr. Daley pointed out that the salary increase approved by Premier Mark Brantley and his Cabinet violates the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis. According to Article VI of the Constitution, specifically Paragraph 70, money can only be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund with Parliamentary approval. The relevant sections of the Constitution state:

  • Article 69: All revenue or other moneys raised or received by the Government must be paid into and form a Consolidated Fund.
  • Article 70(1): No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund except:
  • (a) To meet expenditure charged upon the Fund by this Constitution or by any law enacted by Parliament.
  • (b) Where the issue of those moneys has been authorised by an appropriation law or by a law made in pursuance of section 72.
  • Article 70(2): Moneys charged by this Constitution or any law enacted by Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government shall be paid out by the Government to the person or authority to whom payment is due.
  • Article 70(3): No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Government other than the Consolidated Fund unless authorised by or under any law.

The Controversial Salary Increase

In December 2023, Parliament approved and authorized government expenditure for 2024, amounting to $284.7 million. However, there was no reference or allocation for a pay raise for parliamentarians within this budget. Dr. Daley criticized the NIA Cabinet’s decision to authorize their own salary increase without Parliamentary approval, calling it a blatant mockery of the Constitution.

“The 15% salary increase that Brantley and his Cabinet approved made a mockery of our Constitution and must be withdrawn immediately,” Dr. Daley stated. He emphasized the need for strict adherence to constitutional provisions to ensure the integrity and proper functioning of the government.

Broader Opposition

Dr. Daley’s stance aligns with that of other prominent figures and citizens who have voiced their opposition to the salary increase. Former advisor Duncan Wattley and NRP Leader Dr. Janice Hodge-Daniel have also publicly condemned the increase, arguing that it is both untimely and unjustifiable, especially given the economic challenges faced by the nation.

Wattley highlighted the plight of ordinary citizens struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages, contrasting it with the NIA’s decision to grant themselves a significant pay raise. Dr. Hodge-Daniel echoed these sentiments, calling for accountability and transparency in government actions.

Call to Action

The collective call from these leaders and citizens is clear: the NIA must rescind the salary increase and adhere to constitutional procedures. The separation of powers and the rule of law are fundamental principles that must be upheld to maintain public trust and ensure fair governance.

As the debate continues, the people of St. Kitts and Nevis await a resolution that respects the Constitution and addresses their concerns about fairness and propriety in government actions.

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