PR – The Government of Grenada continues to use the collaborative approach in dealing with matters of national importance.
Prime Minister, Dr. the Rt.Hon. Keith Mitchell hosted a virtual meeting of the Social Partners Committee last week, to discuss the recent High Court ruling on the pension issue and its implications for the country.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of having thorough discussions with local and international stakeholders to ascertain the way forward, given the wider implications for the entire country, not only public officers.
Dr. Mitchell stated that while the fiscal implications of the ruling are a critical consideration, there are also legal and other implications that are equally important.
Underscoring the significance of the pension ruling, the Prime Minister stated that it is not only for public officers but for all Grenadians who will have to contribute to any fiscal measures that may become necessary to allow the state to fund pension payouts.
“This is not a simple issue” he stated, “it is quite complex but we must remain sober and level-headed as we chart the way forward. We must ensure as far as possible, that we create a state of equilibrium, not a situation where one fraction of the population benefits while others have to make additional sacrifices to facilitate these same benefits. Therefore through this and other engagements we are having, Government will seek to determine the best next steps.”
Last week’s meeting also included contributions on legal matters by Attorney General, Dia Forrester, former Attorney General, Sir Lawrence Joseph and UK-based litigation and arbitration attorney, Akima Paul-Lambert. Finance Minister, Honourable Gregory Bowen spoke on potential implications of the pension ruling.
More than 80 persons representing various stakeholder groups, participated in the meeting.
The feedback shared by participants included the need to find a reasonable solution, given the size of the financial burden; implications of the ruling for Grenada’s Fiscal Responsibility Act; the need for specific engagement with the trade unions. There was also a suggestion for educational programmes on retirement planning so that retirees are encouraged not to be solely reliant on pension.