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Gov’t must show Hamilton Green’s special contribution to Guyana to justify PM pension

by Derwayne Wills

Former Prime Minister, Hamilton Green.

Former Prime Minister, Hamilton Green.

Following government’s intention to grant a Prime Minister’s pension to former Prime Minister and former Georgetown Mayor, Hamilton Green; Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said government must show special contributions to the nation made by Green to validate a Parliamentary Bill granting him alone a Prime Minister’s pension.

Jagdeo, during a press conference at his party’s Freedom House headquarters, likened Green’s pension issue with his own pension debacle years ago that ended with a 2015 amendment of the Former Presidents Pension Act.

Jagdeo cited Green’s pension proposal as being “duplicitous” on the part of the coalition government that, while in Opposition, objected to the uncapped benefits he was slated to receive following his retirement in 2011.

“Isn’t this just a rape of the Treasury?” Jagdeo asked while challenging the specific nature of the proposed Bill for Green.

Jagdeo anticipates when the Bill is brought to the National Assembly, there will be a heavy debate on its merits. He said however he is not opposed to persons being given a fair pension once they have served the country.

Former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds is the only other surviving former Prime Minister in Guyana. Hinds’s pension, however, is a Former President’s pension since he served briefly as President following the death of President Cheddi Jagan.

When Parliament meets on November 21, Finance Minister Winston Jordan is expected to table the Bill to ensure that only Green, who served as Prime Minister from 1985 to 1992 would receive the pension, in addition to benefits and other facilities “to enable him to live in keeping with the high office he occupied.”

Demerara Waves Online News reported Green’s acknowledgement of the decision, who then said he was never made a parliamentarian in 1992 due to his “problems” with then People’s National Congress (PNC) Leader Desmond Hoyte.

The former Prime Minister pondered why the specific period was mentioned in the Bill and voiced disappointment that the Bill mentions his name because all future former Prime Ministers should benefit by law.

“I thought the Bill would have just said Prime Minister. I don’t know why the Bill should carry my name. The Bill shouldn’t carry my name. The Bill should say former Prime Ministers,” he said.

Finance Minister Winston Jordan is expected to table the Bill on November 21.

  • Col123

    There are so many reasons.. let me start with ethnic cleansing with greenie and his buddies grenige and ptolemy… how do you think we got those villages into ethnic enclaves?..them dude ethnic cleanse Guyana in the 60s…will bring up the rest … got to putt this birdie in…

    • Gtloyal

      Ate you referring to apaan jhat? Yeh! They started apaan jhat.

      • Col123

        GT…your interpretation is just as good as mine…it is what it is…the ethnic enclaves speaks volumes of the violence and strife that was leashed upon Guyana by these stalwart patriots…I lived it…

        • Gtloyal

          I lived it also, sanctioned officially this time just that it was by the other side, ending last year may.
          Thus, what we’ve experienced does not disqualify the guy from his pension as PM for that would mean that all those who followed him will have to be disqualified also.
          What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander, don’t you think?

          • Col123

            I have no issue with any one making a mockery of the definition of ethnic cleansing ..I saw also and can vividly recollect the pleasure in some during those horrific period in time…

          • Gtloyal

            That something we have in common then.

  • Gtloyal

    The last person who should speak about “… special contributions to the nation …” is Bharat Jagdeo. He became president in many ways thanks to the work of the then Green led government.
    Bharat, can you remember that tata bus that used to pick you up and take you, at 25% of the then fare, to Bygeval multi where you received free texts yearly and a free education? Can you remember those highly qualified professionals you had as teachers? They all left. Most after ’92. Today we don’t even have enough teachers.
    And why do you ask:
    “Isn’t this just a rape of the Treasury?” I just can’t believe that it was Bharat Jagdeo who uttered these words. This is preposterous! If this is rape, what you do you call what you did, Bharat? Buggery? Do you think Guyanese don’t have memory? We remember what you did.
    The man was the Prime minister of the country and should automatically qualify. If the law says that only certain prime ministers or only PPP prime ministers could get pension then something is really *** wrong with this land.

  • Half IndianHalfBlack

    A shameful thing if government makes this proposal a reality. is Mr. Green presently earning a pension? Is he a member of many boards and earning more salaries or major amounts in allowances or stipends whatever it is called?
    What about the hard worked retirees who cannot easily survive on what is offered to them as a pension.
    Mr. Green should be ashamed of himself to want and accept such also the proponents for proposing such.
    Lets wait and see how this will play out.
    The government emphatically stated that money was not available to pay the needed increase to the working class, but paid themselves sumptuous increases.
    ………………… and the list continues.
    Lets watch and wait to see how this plays out.