PM: We will save $90K via firing of parliamentary secretaries
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday he will not replace fired parliamentary secretaries Travis Robinson and Vaughn Miller.
“We are now trying to balance the budget. That’s a savings of $90,000. Every great oak tree was once a nut. So we start small, and we build big,” Minnis told reporters.
Parliamentary secretaries make $45,000 per year and receive a $3,000 duty allowance.
Minnis fired Bains and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson and Golden Isles MP Vaughn Miller as parliamentary secretaries after they voted against the VAT Amendment Bill two weeks ago.
The increase in VAT took effect on Sunday.
When he announced the increase in VAT on May 30, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the government must find a way to pay off its “massive backlog of arrears” and set the stage for pending reductions in customs duties when The Bahamas accedes to the World Trade Organization next year.
However, when they addressed the House of Assembly during the budget debate, Robinson and Miller, along with Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine and Centreville MP Reece Chipman, argued that the increase will be too burdensome on the poor and middle class.
The FNM MPs eventually voted against the increase in VAT.
The following day, Minnis fired Robinson as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and fired Miller as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development.
McAlpine was also fired from his post as chairman of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas.
There are four other parliamentary secretaries left.
James Albury, MP for Central and South Abaco, is parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in Abaco.
Iram Lewis, the MP for Central Grand Bahama, is parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Public Works.
Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, the MP for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, is parliamentary secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.
And Carlton Bowleg, the MP for North Andros and the Berry Islands, is the parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources.
Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications