The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will pay out $187 million in arrears of wages to some 9,000 daily-paid employees.
Parliament has approved the $187 million to pay the workers their arrears in wages and cost of living allowances for the period 2011 to 2013.
However, the Ministry of Finance and the Economy has not yet released the money for the payment to be made to the workers.
THA Chief Secretary Orville London said the Chief Administrator Raye Sandy has already issued instructions for the preparations of the necessary paperwork by accounting and auditing staff of each of the divisions of the Assembly..
The Chief Secretary also made it clear that all arrears must be audited and will take some time.
In a related matter, Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development Joel Jack told Wednesday’s post-Executive Council media briefing that the Assembly has been receiving its parliamentary allocations late since 2010 and this was in breach of the Act.
However, the allocation was received from the Ministry of Tobago Development on Wednesday, although the THA Act states quite clearly that the money appropriated by Parliament must be paid en bloc and in advance at the beginning of each quarter.
“This is not just an inconvenience but results in the loss of interest income and at times has even led to increased cost as a result of overdraft expenses,” Jack said.