TRANSPARENCY International Guyana Incorporated (TIGI) has labelled the draft Hamilton Green Pension Bill as “vulgar” and “politically partisan”; and has accused the PNC faction of the APNU+AFC Coalition Administration of trying to take financial care of “one of its own former strongmen through the public purse”.TIGI’s views came one day after the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) had lashed out at the bill and called on Government to withdraw it because that body thinks it speaks to cronyism.
“This bill is repugnant in that it is made in the name of a single individual rather than for all Prime Ministers; gives Mr. Green access to benefits of which he is not entitled, based on the offices he has held; provides Mr. Green with a pension based on a salary that he never earned; gives special consideration to a man who is especially undeserving of such recognition, given his historically divisive role in society; perpetuates the enrichment of politicians and friends of the Government at the expense of the citizens, made possible only through the power entrusted to those in Government; and is rushed (through) the process without regards to transparency and good governance in general,” a statement from TIGI said on Sunday.
In strongly objecting to the bill, TIGI called for it to be withheld, and for the AFC to clarify its position on the subject.
Like the GHRA, TIGI sees Green as undeserving of the pension; and questions why the likes of Rashleigh Jackson, Eusi Kwayana and Moses Bhagwan, who sacrificed much to protect Guyana from Green’s authoritarian policies, have been overlooked.
According to TIGI, there would be arguments about the “pittance” Green currently receives as a pension, but when the law was passed, the country’s economy and exchange rates were reasonable.
“It was the reckless and undemocratic policies pursued by the Government of which Mr. Green was Prime Minister that led to the destruction of the economy and the plunging of the exchange rate. How can the Government, in good conscience, squeeze the citizens to now bail Mr. Green out above and beyond (his) due, when they have also suffered the consequences of this policies?” the body asked.
TIGI has described the draft legislation as “outrageous, unfair, vulgar, in poor taste, and an affront to good governance, accountability and transparency”. It also sees the bill as an insult to all hardworking nurses, teachers, policemen and public servants, who deserve substantial increases in their salaries.
Mr. Hamilton Green served as Prime Minister of Guyana in the People’s National Congress (PNC) Administration from 1985 to 1992.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told reporters on Friday, during an AFC press conference, that Green’s pension would not take effect from 1985, but from the date of passage of this bill.
He, however, opined that Government should re-examine the name of the bill.