Committee of Supply should raise further questions in the House on gratuities

Dear Editor,
I refer to your article entitled ‘Opposition grills gov’t on contracted workers, NCN $$’ (SN 24 February, 2009) in which you reported that Minister in the Ministry of Finance Jennifer Webster, said that contracted employees in the Office of the President are paid the same amount as a person in the Public Service Ministry, with the exception of them being granted a gratuity every six months. As far as I am aware, this practice of granting gratuities extends to several ministries and corporations owned by the government.

The Committee of Supply should raise further questions on these gratuities including which entities have been paying them, whether appropriate taxes have been deducted and the reasonableness of the total paid. The Income Tax Act only exempts gratuities paid in lieu of pensions to government employees in respect of contracts of employment in service (ie employees and not contractors). Private sector employees are unable to claim this benefit and the level of these may exceed what is reasonable in lieu of a pension.
Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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