BRIDGETOWN, Barbados– Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley continued making political history yesterday, naming the largest Cabinet the country has ever seen and having Cabinet ministers take the oath of office in the first ever public swearing in ceremony.
And just as momentous, Mottley said she would pledge to donate a previous governmental pay rise to charity.
When the day was over, she officially had a 26-member team – herself included – to lead the country’s affairs for the next five years. Mottley was sworn in as Barbados’ first female Prime Minister and her Attorney General Dale Marshall also took the oath of office at a more intimate ceremony before Governor General Dame Sandra Mason on Friday, hours after her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was officially declared the winner of the May 24 general elections with an unprecedented sweep of all 30 seats in Parliament.
And at the swearing-in ceremony attended by other regional leaders yesterday afternoon, Prime Minister Mottley announced that the 10 per cent of parliamentarians’ and ministers’ salaries which was restored in 2016 by the previous Freundel Stuart administration would go to charity.
BLP MPs had decided since 2016 to give their portion of the increases and back pay to charity. And Mottley said that would continue as an act of solidarity with the people of Barbados who have been enduring economic hardship.
“One of the items of my Cabinet’s meeting – and we will have two this week, the first one on Tuesday – will be to ask this BLP team 2018 to continue to share in the sacrifices being made by our public servants and other sectors of this society.
“For the last year, as a matter of principle, these men and women joined with me, as BLP Parliamentary representatives, and declined to accept the 10 per cent pay which the previous government took back by legislation. We took a decision to have our back pay and our continuous 10 per cent monthly pay goes to charitable organizations such as the Salvation Armey, the Diabetes Foundation of Barbados and a number of other entities on one simple principle: that we will not accept it until the public servants issues relating to terms and conditions are appropriately resolved in this country.
“Consequently, I shall similarly recommend to my colleagues, a continued commitment that that 10 percent will not be accepted until the public servants of Barbados receive their due,” Mottley said.
The Prime Minister also announced that all ministers would have to declare their assets.
“Pending the enactment of the integrity legislation, which we have already placed and made public since November, and the consequential establishment of an Integrity Commission, all ministers will submit a declaration of their assets, in a document to be held under sealed envelope and in confidence by the Cabinet Secretary, until the establishment of the Integrity Commission,” she said.
Explaining the size of her Cabinet, Mottley said it was necessary because of the dire state of the economy.
“The Cabinet will be relatively large because I’ve not only considered the mandate given to us by the people, but also the scope of the work to be done, and the level of expertise that is at our disposal, among elected members. I’ve opted to share the workload across a significant proportion of the parliamentary group, rather than conform to the theory of a small Cabinet, thus creating an unrealistic setting for members to function effectively,” she said.
“The salaries of a few extra ministers are relatively insignificant, given that there will be tremendous savings on the containment of wastage and the curtailment of corruption.”
The Prime Minister assured that she would be holding each minister to a very high standard. And she said the hallmarks of her Cabinet would be accountability, transparency, fairness, discipline and unity.
“We do not and will not subscribe to the notion of government by stealth.
Below is the full list of Cabinet and other appointments:
Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment – Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP
Minister in the Ministry of Finance – Hon. Ryan Straughn, MP
Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs – Hon. Marsha Caddle, MP
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs – Hon. Dale Marshall, QC, MP
Minister of Home Affairs – Hon. Edmund Hinkson, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade – Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, JP
Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade – Hon. C. Sandra Husbands, MP
Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training – Hon. Santia Bradshaw, MP
Minister of Health and Wellness – Hon. Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, MP
Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations – Hon. Colin Jordan, MP
Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development – Hon. George Payne, QC, MP
Minister in the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Rural Development – Hon. Charles Griffith, MP
Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs – Hon. Cynthia Forde, JP, MP
Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce — Hon. Dwight Sutherland, MP
Minister of Youth and Community Empowerment – Hon. Adrian Forde, MP
Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy – Hon. Kirk Humphrey, MP
Minister International Business and Industry – Hon. Ronald Toppin, MP
Minister of Tourism and International Transport – Hon. Kerrie Symmonds, MP
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security – Hon. Indar Weir, MP
Minister of Energy and Water Resources – Hon. Wilfred Abrahams, MP
Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance – Dr. Hon. William Duguid, JP, MP
Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance – Hon. Peter Philips, MP
Minister of Environment and National Beautification – Hon. Trevor Prescod, JP, MP
Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports – Hon. John King, MP
Minister of Innovation, Science and Smart Technology – Senator Kay McConney
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs – Senator Lucille Moe
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Tech and Vocational Training – Dr. Rommel Springer, MP
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs – Mr. Neil Rowe, MP
Chief Economic Counsellor to the Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Investment – Ambassador Dr. Clyde Mascoll
Ambassador at Large and Ambassador Plenipotentiary – Dame Billie Miller
Speaker of the House – Mr. Arthur Holder
Deputy Speaker – Mr. Gline Clarke, JP
Chairman of Committees – Dr. Sonia Browne
President of the Senate – Sir Richard Cheltenham
Deputy President of the Senate – Rudolph “Cappy” Greenidge
Dr. Crystal Haynes