Elimination of seats to save taxpayers $138,000 annually
While there has been some opposition to the elimination of three seats in Parliament, the change could translate into savings of $138,000 for Bahamian taxpayers.
Members of Parliament receive $1,500 per month from the government as an allowance. That’s 18,000 a year. Multiply that by three and that’s $54,000.
Additionally, MPs receive a salary of $28,000 per year. Multiply that by three and it equals $84,000.
Added together, that’s $138,000 in savings.
However, it is unknown whether the constituency allowances or the salaries for MPs will be increased as a result of the larger number of people in the constituencies.
That information would likely not be revealed until the next budget is presented in June, Speaker of the House of Assembly Alvin Smith told The Nassau Guardian recently.
The final report from the Boundaries Commission proposes the elimination of five constituencies and the creation of three new ones.
As previously reported, the number of seats in the House of Assembly will be reduced from 41 to 38 after the next general election: 23 will be in New Providence; five in Grand Bahama and 10 in the Family Islands.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said yesterday the change in boundaries in New Providence will mean an average of 400 more voters per constituency.
The boundaries report was tabled in The House of Assembly yesterday.
A debate on the report will begin today.
The Progressive Liberal Party has voiced its opposition to the proposal to cut out several constituencies, claiming that the government is gerrymandering and seeking to undercut the opposition.
However, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told reporters recently that the Free National Movement made a promise a decade ago to reduce the number of constituencies to 38.
The three new constituencies will be named Nassau Village, Southern Shores and Tall Pines.
Blue Hills, Clifton, Englerston, Kennedy and St. Thomas More will be eliminated.