PM Skerrit dismisses suggestion of paying salaries using CBI funds

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, has dismissed a suggestion that the government use funds from the much talked about Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program to pay salaries and give a raise to public servants.

Speaking recently he described such a move as ‘most dangerous’ since such funds are a form of non-taxed revenue.

“Any political party that is suggesting to a government, irrespective of who the government is, to use non tax revenue and resources for recurrent expenditure is a most dangerous thing to do …” he stated.

Recently funds from Dominica’s CBI program have been used for a number of projects across the island. Some have suggested that funds from the program be used for giving public servants a raise in the 2015-2018 triennium. The government has proposed a wage freeze for the period and although negotiations are ongoing, unions representing public servants have refused the offer.

But Skerrit said paying salaries is a legal obligation which must come from tax revenue because “you cannot go to the banks and borrow money and say that you will rely on the CBI to pay the loans.”

“The World Bank must see what is your tax revenue, what are your fiscals policies, how you intend to raise the money when the time comes to pay them because these are legal obligations,” he stated. “The government has a legal obligation to provide education to everyone up to age 16, when we provide assistance to the students who are going to college and who are going to university, it is not an obligation, it is because the government recognizes that it needs to help you educate yourself to come back and see the country in its advancements.”

He said the payment of gratuity and pensions is mandatory and must be paid through tax revenue.

“We must pay pensions and gratuity when people retire and these things must come from your tax revenue,” the Prime Minister said. “When countries are spending more than they are making they have to go and borrow to pay salaries and that is a bad trend because it will never fix the problem.”

General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union (DPSU), Thomas Letang, had this to say on the matter, “What they are saying to us, indirectly, is that the Yes We Care Program for which CBI money is being used, the NEP program that is funded by the CBI money and all other forms of assistance, the toilet program, and all other assistance that is provided using CBI money – are you saying then that since CBI money is not sustainable – if you are saying that you cannot use that money to pay public officers salaries or increase in salaries because it is not sustainable, then we can say the same thing about all the other social programs that are being provided in the country. I have not heard of any instance where the CBI money is being used to improve on the working condition of public officers.”

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32 Comments

  1. mamzel
    April 11, 2017

    PM – you know that you are lying telling lies. The good book warns about lying. It says” Lying is an abomination unto the Lord” Civil servants salary have been paid from the CBI money on many occassion. I know that for a fact.

    To all Civil servants – who continue to support this wicked lying PM of ours – i guess when your salary is not paid you will stand up and want to cry foul. I hope it will not be too late . Remember the “Titanic” when it was sinking there were many {like you) who believed the captain that all was well and the Titanic was unsinkable. You all know what is going on, but interest of one dictator you forget about you wellbeing and that of your children. Many think that by shutting up it will go away. We all will beheld accountable support this evil regime.

  2. Writing is on the wall
    April 11, 2017

    YOU lie!!!!

  3. WELL WELL
    April 11, 2017

    The World Bank must see what is your tax revenue, what are your fiscals policies, how you intend to raise the money when the time comes to pay them because these are legal obligations,” he stated. “The government has a legal obligation to provide education to everyone up to age 16, when we provide assistance to the students who are going to college and who are going to university, it is not an obligation, it is because the government recognizes that it needs to help you educate yourself to come back and see the country in its advancements.”

    He

  4. Delighted
    April 11, 2017

    So Mr. Skerrit why are you all using CBI monies to pay NEP. Stop the dishonesty. Pay Civil Servants

    • UDOHREADYET
      April 11, 2017

      Thats a temporary program not a government position for which salaries and positions have to be budgeted against tax revenue.

  5. Look It
    April 11, 2017

    “…if you are saying that you cannot use that money to pay public officers salaries or increase in salaries because it is not sustainable, then we can say the same thing about all the other social programs that are being provided in the country.”

    GOOD POINT HERE!!!!! You can’t be saying one thing and doing another…isnt CBI being used to pay the wages for NEP workers?????

  6. Stupes
    April 11, 2017

    “Any political party that is suggesting to a government, irrespective of who the government is, to use non tax revenue and resources for recurrent expenditure is a most dangerous thing to do …”

    Take note NEP employees, National Health Insurance Beneficiaries, all those contracts that are being signed on CBI money – it is unstable and wont last! From the words of the PM.

    I hope everyone realises the false hopes that are being peddled on the back of the CBI program! When the opposition said it was unsustainable – government ministers and supporters had all kind of things to say about them, now the PM is saying it himself – where are the condemnations? where are the accusations of traitors who are guilty of treason?

    • FORKIT
      April 11, 2017

      precisely, dominicans just to tebeh to see that we supporting a failed government (one man) that wants to stay in power till dimitry starts to make children

    • follow the crumbs
      April 11, 2017

      right now not even the people at the National Bank of Dominica want to give loans to developers backed by the CBI program. they have their own set of concerns about CBI. To date only Ft. Young that can access the CBI money put there for hotels. Not even Sam Raphael can get from the NBD to rebuild Jungle Bay and he has been approved for a CBI development.

  7. Thomas
    April 11, 2017

    Skerrit as a man is downright dishonest and untrustworthy. He and his ministers boast that NEP is possible because of the CBI programme. Yet, in a futile attempt to negate the claims of the DPSU for a salary increase, he is now arguing that his government is not using the CBI funds to pay salaries and it is dangerous to do so. His ”honorary” PhD must be in boldface lying.

  8. Unknown
    April 10, 2017

    I thought I those words would never come from my mouth but the PM is right about using CBI money to pay public servants. The thing is that CBI stuff could go down the drain tomorrow and the wages will still have to be paid. The country would be bankrupt in no time. However, his statement should also send a message that we need start creating jobs and building factories and find other ways to generate revenue for the same reason that the CBI money is not guaranteed and won’t last forever. Stop relying on CBI as your main source of revenue Mr.Sjeritt

  9. Doc. Love
    April 10, 2017

    The Prime Minister must stop depending on the sympathy of Dominicans because of his lack of leadership, vision and ability to manage the economy. When general election is due, he goes through the length and breath of Dominica making promises. Amongst the promises are increases of pay for public servants and better working conditions. No sooner the elections are over, all the promises made to public servants are dumped in the garbage bin. He does not keep any meetings with the management of the public servants, concerning the many promised increases. He does absolutely nothing to improve the economy. He even increased the cabinet, all the members of his party that lost the elections are given big jobs. He pretends he does not know salary negotiations are due every three years, when the workers are ready for their increases, they are told their is no money for their increases. Who does he blame for his forepar, the workers and their trade union.

  10. UDOHREADYET
    April 10, 2017

    bravo bravo bravo!!
    Well thought out and considerate.
    hopefully the efforts can be put into addressing training, income and proper taxation to obtain such incomes when the civil servants do their jobs diligently by following an established process that will generate income for the government to pay them.

    something simple such as increasing the cost of licensure in all areas, driving business, alcohol licenses etc.
    increase the tax on imported water
    Tax the license to sell liquor on a yearly basis so the owners don’t hold onto them forever and can actually transfer or lease the license. increase the tax or fee for foreigners to obtain temporary Driver licenses while on the Island.

    Also if there are government funded construction projects, then the skilled private companies should by law employe a small percentage of backhoe operators, truck driver or laborers from the public works as part of a special projects team in that department. this way they are learning, working and…

  11. Fake News
    April 10, 2017

    The media should report facts and not Fake news. News worthy of reporting should comprised some of what 1John 1:1 refers to as “which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled…” The Media should stop reporting what Skerrit says or what Linton says unless they were given an opportunity to question them to get the truth and not what politicians want us to hear. The media should be busy be the first ones knocking the offices of these politicians in search of finding the truth to report to us. For example, DNO should take a look at the audit report of the government to see if salaries are being paid by CBI or by tax collected. if they aren’t allowed to get that information then don’t report it or, if you going to report it then DNO and other media houses should state that they pushed for answers but were unsuccessful. In so doing readers would understand that somebody is hiding the truth. We need the truth & not Fake News

    • Lang Mama
      April 11, 2017

      I support your position. The media is not doing a good job on reporting. I dont support the statement that it is fake news when the media just state what the PM or opposition says. The mefia has a responsibility to inform and educate and to do so with proficiency. Whst the media should do is focus on educating people because our people nedd enlightenment. The new generation is totally oblivious on the responsibility of government -ruling and opposition. The media must keep the people informed on governance protocols no matter which arm of government get offended.
      Rushing to put a story out without meat is simply inadequate not necessarily fake news

    • mamzel
      April 11, 2017

      We are not moved by your use of the word of God to Justify Skerrit wickedness – even the Devil uses God’s word too and he know it . I degree and declare – Let these same words judge you. Jesus (in St. Johns 14) say that He did not come to judge but His words will judge

  12. Shameless
    April 10, 2017

    Well Roosevelt, create the environment where the country can generate taxed revenue so that public/ civil servants can get a fair pay raise to at least keep up with inflation. You, lennox, Charlo, Bosso and me all know that at this current rate the DLP will continue to kill every industry therefore taxable revenue is already a thing of the past thanks to the worthless DLP.

    Sadly, the self proclaimed “Rockweiler” who was trained in the jungles of Guyana has already proclaimed to the nation that the economy will soon collapse but its all the opposition’s fault. I guess its because of the opposition that you can’t give public/ civil servants a decent raise too. But Roosevelt, tanto-tanto – shack-coshon-nee-samdi-yoe :twisted: :twisted:

    Assertive like the rod of Moses! :twisted:

  13. Spike
    April 10, 2017

    Mr. Skerrit is right; borrowing to pay salaries is eating the seed corn you will need to plant next season. CBI should be treated like investment money and also only used to make systemic improvements, as the process of welcoming newcomers itself makes systemic changes that might not be improvements. But it’s also public money, once paid, and it should be visible to all and expended only by Parliament.

  14. Dorian Shillingford
    April 10, 2017

    I agree with the Prime Minister’s statement. However, he created this monster by running around and making spending decisions pursuant to this source of funds. How dangerous is that? How many new immigrants or passport sales must one make annually, to sustain this level of spending (publicity).
    Ultimately, revenues must come from the industry and value creation of Dominicans themselves. The degree to which we are promoting that aspect of self reliance, industry and value creation, relative to talk of CBI and Chinese/Venezuelan support is the crux of my debate and concern. There are no shortcuts to growth and prosperity!

  15. jazz53
    April 10, 2017

    The PM is right on this issue, I can understand paying the PWD money owed which would be a one-time payment. But salaries has to come from a sustainable source of revenue and that has to be by Taxes and other predictable government revenues.

    • Over It!
      April 11, 2017

      Then therefore, the NEP workers should not be paid with CBI funds

  16. EnfantDiable
    April 10, 2017

    This CBI fund must be used for capital formation/long-term job creation projects!!

  17. The mouth
    April 10, 2017

    Okay so you can’t use CBI funds for recurrent payments. You can however use the funds for one-off bonus payments the equivalent of 5% of the basic salary.

    • KaliBud
      April 11, 2017

      Best proposal seen here. That makes perfect sense. In fact offer 10% of annual salary, as a bonus. And u may do that again if funds keep coming.

  18. KaliBud
    April 10, 2017

    Mr Letang apparently has the same education level as Mr Linton, or he trying to incite the illiterate.

    What is meant is that CBI funds are to be used exclusively for things with a definite end date (projects) And for instances where it can be immediately discontinued when the funds stop coming in (like grants). Salaries are perpetual obligations and as such must be sustained by another perpetual source of income.

    But then again, they rant and rave about CBI and now they want de money. I thought it was dirty money. Smh

    • Cee Bee Eye
      April 11, 2017

      Tell me how the hell i hearing the CBI pays NEP employees?

    • Kalipetal
      April 11, 2017

      So what about the recurring expenditure of NEP workers salaries that the government has been paying?

    • follow the crumbs
      April 11, 2017

      . The issue is with the administration of the program. The UWP never said to stop the CBI program. The issues are with the sale of diplomatic passports and the lack of response to legit concerns by the people and the Opposition. The UWP has never said to abolish and totally stop the program. transparency and due diligence are the issues. Stop mixing apples with hearsay.

  19. dissident
    April 10, 2017

    So why you keep saying that NEP workers are paid through CBI program?????

    You are such a fake!!!!!
    Boy…….If government unable to give a raise to public servants……. What does that say about de economy Mr finance minister!
    De government running on 1 cylinder, CBI.

    Under this incompetent finance minister civil servants could never see a raise in pay!

  20. April 10, 2017

    Understood! I doe know how many times they want to hear it.

  21. April 10, 2017

    I don’t know if the PM has to spell it out for you Letang.

  22. follow the crumbs
    April 10, 2017

    Nonsense. Initially when the NEP program had just started he had said that the program will be supported by the CBI program. I distinctly remember that. If so, how are you paying the salaries of all of these NEP workers thats are hired by the government, meanwhile police and teachers and nurses cannot get a raise?

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