Basseterre, Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, (MyVueNews.com) – It must have sounded like great music to the ears of the men and women in the police force, Fire & Rescue Services and Defence Force, when the Minister of Finance, Dr. Timothy Harris, announced at his press conference this week that his government has decided to offer a better deal in some allowances, for the security forces.
The overall increases are said to be costing the country a total of $322,680 annually going forward.
Harris, who is also Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, told the media on Tuesday, 17th July, 2018, that law enforcement officers providing inter-island service to the Federation will this month see a 40 percent increase in their displacement allowances and a 50 percent increase in their ferry allowances.
Harris announced the decision to review the allowances to security officers following a meeting he held with members of Division C of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force on Wednesday, May 23, at the Charlestown Police Station.
He said, on Monday, July 16, Cabinet gave its approval to the increased allowances after thorough consultations with the Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, Commander of the St. Kitts and Nevis Defence Force, Lieutenant Colonel J. Anthony Comrie and Fire Chief, Mr. Everette O’garro.
“The monthly displacement allowance to security officers will be increased from $250 per month to $350 per month, an increase of 40 percent. Secondly, with respect to the monthly ferry allowance which was put at $80 since 2008 per month, from July 1 this will be adjusted upward by 50 percent to $120 per month,” Prime Minister Harris announced during his press conference.
He added that that 71 officers will benefit from displacement allowances and 51 will benefit from the ferry allowance.
The prime minister noted that it is their hope that this initiative will further boost the morale of the men and women who serve in the various security agencies.
“Team Unity Government values the work of our security officers and we appreciate the adjustment issues when they are moved inter-island. We hope that we will inspire officers to higher service,” Dr. Harris added, while stating that “excellence is what our country deserves and we will hold all to that standard.”
The prime minister further advised that the ferry allowances will not apply to defence force officers who are rotated monthly.