Mr Speaker,indeed, in respect of clause 20, I appreciatethe knack with which the debate hasproceeded. While I recognise that the Minister forFinance has a mandate, the mandate forsalary and compensation negotiations, byvirtue of the Fair Wages and SalariesCommission Act, and by the LabourAct, and by Conventions of theInternational Labour Commission, isvested in the Minister responsible forEmployment and Labour Relations. I dare add, Mr Speaker, let us notpersonalise legislation. I probably wouldnot be the Minister for Employment andLabour Relations in the next few -- I amjust saying let us not personaliselegislation. We have a duty to build astrong and viable institutions.
Mr Speaker, for instance, when wetake tripartite, even at the level of tripartite,the Minister for Employment and LabourRelations ought to demonstrate neutralityin allowing the Minister for Finance onthe right to make representations onbehalf of Government, and for the majorstakeholder, Labour on the left, to make arepresentation presided by the Chairman,which is normally the Minister forEmployment and Labour and Relations. I would therefore, suggest that clause20 should read;
“the Minister responsible forEmployment shall with priorconsultation with the Minister forFinance…”, then the rest of the words can flow.There should be prior consultationbecause it is important -- [Interruption.] Mr Speaker knows why I am using“prior” because the word has been definedas a term of art. In doing this, with myexperience over the past two years, onecertainly cannot negotiate without thetacit understanding and support of theMinistry of Finance and the resourcesthey provide. We would need them. For instance,they would provide the ceilings; what isit that Budget can contain? Maybe,compensation as a percentage ofrevenue or GDP, it is only the Ministryof Finance which can give those details. So, Mr Speaker, I would believe --Consultation is fine, but it would be betterif it is with prior approval. Mr Speaker, with my experience, and Iam sure my Hon Colleague Ato Forson ishere. There have been times I have beenaccused that I speak for Labour, but then,I remind them that we are speaking forGovernment. I would like a delicate balance in termsof building consensus, therefore, a rolefor the Minister for Employment andLabour Relations in this matter isimperative. Thank you.
second one and since you are here, whydo you not move it?