PRINCES Town MP Barry Padarath said it was unethical and unlawful for Public Administration and Communications Minister Maxie Cuffie still to be receiving a salary and perks of more than $40,000 monthly indefinitely for work not being done.
He was speaking during the Prime Minister’s Questions session in Parliament yesterday and had earlier asked whether Cuffie continued to receive the salary of a Cabinet Minister indefinitely seeing that there was no date for his return to his ministerial portfolio.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said it was common knowledge Cuffie was undergoing medical attention and as the person who had appointed him to the Cabinet, he had taken no action to change the terms and conditions of a minister of Government.
Padarath then asked if he agreed that it was unethical and unlawful for Cuffie still to be paid while not doing work, but Rowley simply replied that he would “let that by.”
Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal then asked whether the minister could remain indefinitely away from his job and continue to draw a salary as minister. Rowley responded: “Madam Speaker, I have said no such thing.”
Barataria/San Juan MP Dr Fuad Khan asked if Cuffie was being denied assistance for his final medical expenses. Rowley responded that he was not aware of any denial, but having been informed of Cuffie’s circumstances a decision was taken to provide assistance and that assistance was identified to a “certain limit.”