Pension eligibility stems from the office not the quality of service

Dear Editor,

The responses by the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and Transparency International Guyana Incorporated (TIGI) in relation to the Prime Minister Hamilton Green Pension Bill refer.

While I may have my own concerns and questions about this bill I can assure you that none of them are in any way to attack the person Mr Green, but rather to get a sense of how we have come to this point and whether or not the administration is fair in its dealings. I am by no means a defender or supporter of either Mr Hamilton Green or the PNCR, but the mere fact that Mr Green held the office of prime minister causes me to believe that he should be entitled to a pension.

Lest we forget, the PPP/C in 2011 took a Bill to parliament to secure pensions and benefits for former presidents only, and in 2012 Bills were proposed and passed by the then opposition to enable former prime ministers to also benefit from a pension. However, this Bill was not assented to by former President Donald Ramotar.

The responses from GHRA and TIGI outline a growing norm in society where our people respond to things from an emotional and judgmental standpoint, so what you get is a lot of bitterness in their reasoning. Both responses focused heavily on the person rather than the content of the actual bill, basically saying his stint as prime minister had done the country more harm than good and that he was undeserving of any pension. It should also be noted that qualification for a pension stems not from the quality of service, but rather the office that was held. If quality of service was a prerequisite a very strong case could be made and should have been made by the GHRA and TIGI as to why former Presidents Jagdeo and Ramotar should have been ineligible. I believe that the responses by both organizations came from a deep place of bitterness and are more the personal views of some who are able to utilize the name of an organization to give their views merit.

More so one would have to simply be ignorant or hasty to label this Bill as a “special provision” for Mr Hamilton Green.

Yours faithfully,

Clayon F Halley

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