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Basseterre, St Kitts, March 23, 2019 – Prominent Queens Counsel Charles Wilkin has declared that St.Kitts-Nevis Ministers and Parliamentarians are grossly underpaid .
In a commentary aired on Radio Station WINN FM the noted QC said “They (Ministers, Parliamentarians etc) are in my opinion substantially underpaid. I have always expressed this view. Politicians in office should be well paid but they should be held firmly to account,” said Wilkin, who noted that the last time the salaries of Ministers and Parliamentarians were reviewed was some 14 years ago in 2005 where a Salaries Review Commission reported .
“There were modest increases recommended. In its report the Commission went at great length into the need and importance of good governance and recommended legislation to regulate integrity in public life, campaign finance, the procurement process for government contracts and greater openness in government. The Committee was very aware that the relatively small salaries paid to Ministers expose them to the temptation of corruption. They said this in support of the recommendation for campaign finance regulation: “Our history demands not only that our leaders not be bought and sold but that we proudly proclaim that this is virtually impossible and that any attempts to do so would be subject to criminal sanctions imposed by law.”
Wilkin said the Commission was right. “Leaders should not be available for purchase and sale. Because of the enormous power and responsibility entrusted to them they should be above reproach. Corruption drains an economy. It is the honest taxpayer and the hardworking men and women who pay the price when Government funds which should go to provide essential services are syphoned off into the pockets of public officials and their private conspirators and cronies.”
“Corruption affects the investment climate and the reputation of a country. It is often hard to prove but even the perception of it affects the morale of the country. Corruption grows like a cancer until it destroys the system. Often the country is laid low at the same time. We see examples across the world,” said Wilkin.

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