Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, has confirmed that his administration is considering a stipend for Lady Compton, the widow of former Prime Minister, Sir John Compton.
He explained that the initiative will also include others.
Asked whether there was any truth to reports that Lady Compton was receiving a $5,000 monthly stipend, Chastanet said the matter was down as a bill for consideration by the House of Assembly but was withdrawn.
“We want to make amendments to the bill to make sure that it includes not just Lady Janice but also any former widow, so when you look at Lady Janice – her husband was in office for twenty-five years and this has to be a gender neutral bill, so I am looking forward to the day when we have our first female Prime Minister as well,” Chastanet told reporters yesterday.
“Why shouldn’t it be that if their loved one was Prime Minister who gave all this time, should not get some benefit? I think it is one of the flaws and many countries have rectified that by doing exactly what we are doing.”
Chastanet explained that the measure relates to just the widow.
Questioned as to why he thought such a measure was necessary, the Prime Minister said:
“Because they held the highest office. The fact is that she does not have a pension. The pension is actually to the husband , not to her and I think that we have to start respecting people who have put in their time in our society and it starts by all of us recognizing them.”
The Prime Minister declared that talent from outside Saint Lucia is recognized, but Saint Lucia needs to raise its own respect for people who are in office.
He said being in office is not easy and comes with tremendous responsibility and sacrifices.
“I don’t think there is anybody who can argue the merits of it. The question is that it must be fair and it must be inclusive of everyone,” Chastanet asserted.