Broken Promises by LDS

The 13th month salary for the private sector is being literally killed off by both the Government and the LDS. It is about a year since former President Michel brought in legislation to reward public sector workers for their hard work and devotion with an extra month salary at the end of the year. It was also promised at the time that legislation would be introduced to compensate private sector workers as well. This provided businesses with anticipation time. In six weeks 2016 will come to an end and still no legislation in sight for the private sector workers to benefit from the 13th month salary.

In fact, when the 13th month salary was first spoken about in 2015 both Government and the LDS said that it was their proposal and they fought over who was stealing the idea from each other.

It was kindergarten stuff; little boys fighting over a candy bar or over who should stand at the front of the class. Be it as it may former President Michel ploughed on with introducing legislation to award government workers the 13th month salary, with a promise that same will be done at a later stage for private sector workers. We know that the legislation is ready. Why is it not before the elected representatives?

During the National Assembly election battle the rhetoric was deafening about which party will deliver the 13th month salary, judging by the results of that election the LDS got the upper hand. The workers trusted them more to deliver for the workforce. They have so far “Let Down Seychellois”, in the sense that they have hardly spoken about the inflated cost of living. The ordinary working man/ woman is finding it extremely difficult to put food on the table to feed their family; prices are too high in the shops. The LDS majority in the National Assembly is fighting over creating numerous senseless committees and allegedly accepting ‘cash for motion’ to protect the interest of big businesses and their rich friends. The poor people’s interests have conveniently been placed on the backburner by the LDS majority.

This week the leader of opposition tabled a motion to appeal to STC and other merchants to sell essential commodities at the lowest possible price, too little too late. What about the 13th month salary for private sector workers? Why is it not included in your motion, Honorable Ramkalawan?

This newspaper sincerely believes that it is the private sector workers that generate the wealth of this country through their hard work - it is time to show them some gratitude. It is them that produce the income for the businesses to be able to pay taxes – the same taxpayers’ money that pays for the salary of all government workers and all the National Assembly employees including the MNAs. The National Assembly Members benefits the most (more than any other sectors) out of the hard work of private sector workers, which produce the funds for taxation. Why are they (LDS) not making a case for the private sector workers to be awarded the 13th month salary in 2016 like government employees?? This was a promised made by former President Michel.

The National Assembly Members (MNA) get monthly (SCR 31, 000) remuneration, with duty free cars, a yearly gratuity of SCR 100 000, this is followed by another hefty gratuity at the end of their five year term of office; SCR 1.5m for Honorable Ramkalawan and his counterpart. This is an unfair situation when the ordinary worker has to wait twenty years for a meager gratuity of about twenty thousand rupees or less.

The LDS majority in the National Assembly must fight for the workers of this country, all the workers; private and public sector. Why are they not doing it when it comes to the 13th month salary? Whose interests are they trying to protect?? Is it the interests of big businesses and their rich financial backers?? Are they trying to protect the likes of VCS, P&J, Eden Island Company, Vijay Construction, Cable & Wireless, Airtel, Seybrew, Pilgrims Security, etc……?

These are the questions at this stage of the conversation for the populace to reflect upon. We will have more on the matter next week and in all editions for the rest of the year 2016. After much reflection and soul searching The Independent newspaper is backing the 13th month salary for all the Seychellois workers! They deserve it!



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