Salaries: What Exactly Do Politicians Make?

May 16, 2011

Recently Bermuda Public Services Union president Kevin Grant called on Bermuda’s Parliamentarians to consider taking symbolic pay cuts after proposing a 1.25 percent salary hike for civil servants in an offer which has been on the table since January.

Mr. Grant repeated the call when hundreds of BPSU members demonstrated outside the Cabinet Building. Both the United Bermuda Party and the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, who have not yet completed their planned merger, seem to have backed Mr. Grant’s suggestion that Cabinet Ministers take a voluntary pay cut.

In this year’s Budget, it was revealed more than $4 million is now earmarked for the salaries of Bermuda’s 11 Senators and 36 Members of Parliament. Most of the island’s 13 Cabinet Ministers make a combined salary of around $168,000 a year [around $3,230 gross a week].

In the Upper House there is one payment for being an appointed Senator, then additional payments can be made on top for holding positions including Senate President, Senate Vice-President, Junior Minister or Minister. The additional payments for Senators range from around $3,300 [Vice President] to $112,000 [full time Minister].

So, for instance, Senate President Carol Ann Bassett will earn a base pay of $30,366.67 plus an additional $15,181.10 as leader of the Upper House. And Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Senator Kim Wilson would take home $142,412.24, as she is a member of both the Senate and served as a Minister.

The payment options then change for MPs sitting in the House of Assembly, with them also receiving a base pay plus differing amounts of additional positions held. The UBP’s Kim Swan would earn $56,022.94 as a St. George’s MP plus an additional $30,366.67 as Opposition Leader for a combined total of $86,389.61.

Attorney General Michael Scott, the top paid Cabinet Minister, earns $163,358.40 as Bermuda’s highest legal officer in addition to his MP’s salary for a $219, 381.34 total package.

Payment options for various MPs/leaders:

  • Members of the House: $56,022.94
  • Party Whips: $7,593.30
  • Speaker, House of Assembly: $26,569.44
  • Deputy Speaker, House of Assembly: $13,285.28
  • Junior Ministers in the House of Assembly: $11,387.22
  • Ministers in the House of Assembly: $56,022.94
  • Full Time Minister in the House of Assembly: $112,045.87
  • Minister of Finance: $78,432.11
  • Attorney General: $163,358.40
  • Premier: $168,068.81
  • Deputy Premier: $69,468.44
  • Opposition Leader: $30,366.67

Payment options for Senators:

  • Senators: $30,366.67
  • Vice President, Senate: $3,307.59
  • President of the Senate: $15,181.10
  • Junior Ministers in the Senate: $11,425.32
  • Ministers in the Senate: $56,022.94
  • Full Time Minister in the Senate: $112,045.87

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Comments (61)

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Articles that link to this one:

  1. Paycuts & the Premier « "Catch a fire" | May 17, 2011
  1. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Meanwhile Bermudians are losing their jobs in record numbers and having their houses taken from them by the banks. They better give up something or there will be trouble in Paradise. I think they all know that now…that is why they are talking about it now. I don’t think the people will stand for it much longer…especially coming from a “People’s Goverment!” Think wisely Miss Cox.

  2. Scale says:

    No wonder many opposition leaders are always in a gripe! lol

  3. Geza Wolf says:

    hahah, “Of the people, for the people” yeah right..

  4. Terry says:

    It’s all the UBP’s fault. Triminghams, H.A.& Ewart Smiths, ‘DBOB’; (Dont Bank of Bermuda)McDonalds, Tom Cats, Guslings in Somer/George, Gunpowder Tavern, Hullydey Innz….detz rite……even dee freking Yoo Ass Navy laft…… hall dee Yoo Bee Pee’s fault…..

  5. PAS says:

    For clarity, could you name all MPs and Senators, their (multiple) jobs and their salaries. e.g.
    Paula Cox – Premier – $168,068.81
    Carol Ann Bassett – Senate President, leader of the Upper House – $45,547

    • pass 1 check to me. says:

      Most of these ministers are getting 2 or more checks. The Premier gets at least 3 of these checks. Premier $168,068.01, Minister of Finance $78,432.11 and i think she may get a check for being Member of the House whhich is $56,022.94 or she may get Minister in the House of ASsembley $56,022.94.. She is raking in some $$$$$$ … Can I get a LOAN plz !!!!!!! smh !!!!

  6. LaVerne Furbert says:


    You could have clarified that the salaries were determined by an independent committee and not by the members of legislature themselves.

    • LOL (original) says:

      Please Mrs. Furbert,

      We have already talked about this at length as I’m sure you’ve seen and it was found that the “Independent Committee” is in fact appointed by the Premier so it independence is questionable at best.


      • 32n64w says:

        Mrs. Furbert,

        Can you confirm who appoints members to this “independent committee” ?

    • Ms. Furbert,

      You could have clarified that you are a senator and thus a recipient of one of the salary grades listed above.

      • LaVerne Furbert says:

        Mr. Pitcher,

        It is no secret that I am a senator. It’s not as if I used a penname.

        • herbalist says:

          i guess those senators salaries are enough to keep them following this government, hope they are ready to go down with the ship

        • Ms. Furbert,

          It is no more a secret that you are a senator than it is that salaries are determined by ‘independent’ committee.

          If you implore full disclosure on such details from Bernews then is it not reasonable that others implore you to disclose your own relations to the above article?

          • crazytalk says:

            LaVerne, “Independant Committee”? You know, that’s the funniest comment yet.

            But anyway, thanks a million (or should I say thanks a billion) for coming on and letting us all know how ‘fair’ your compensation is. Although, I guess that’s what you would say, isn’t it.

            Still, it’s interesting to see the plp cashing in. When the chips are down, it’s obvious they’re just in it for the money.

      • sigh says:

        It is no secret that Ms. Furbert is a Senator. If she was trying to hide her identity she would have used a pen name.

    • Ring Master says:

      Perhaps Bernews could run a comparison of salaries paid in 1997 versus today, and when and how much they have been increased since 1997?

      • hello BERMUDA!!! says:


        • Bryan says:

          Easy…they make the laws that allow the committee to set their pay scale. If you are in charge then you call the shots!

      • Curious One says:

        At the Bermuda National Library you can view the Revenue and Expenditure handbooks which has a listing of the salaries of the legislature. You can view salaries going back to the early nighties to the present.

  7. Scott says:

    please tell me Party Whips salary is paid by the parties themselves?

    • Terry says:

      Because bloody “Whips” are LEGAL…………

      Only time the Cat Of PLP Tails is used is when Senators get confused and then are givem authority.

      Confused?……chirp chirp………

  8. astounded says:

    and this is only a side hustle – ask Ewart.

  9. OMG says:

    All I can say is WOW!, and I am one of those who has been out of a job for the last 11 months, maybe with the pay cut we (unemployed persons) can maybe get unemployment pay hehehe:)

  10. Black pride says:

    Its too bad the UBP never had to publicize how much money they were making for 40 years. When they knew they were going to lose, they set this crap up for us to finally know the pay wages..Dont get mad because black people are finally making money in Gov’t. What do you think the UBP would get if they won power next year..any less?

    • Agree says:

      I concur! Where were all you curious people when this was going on? Were you interested then when you should have most interested not only now because of the current economic climate. This information has been readily available to the public for years, people are just too lazy to get off their behind and do some research! Thanks to mediums like Bernews this information is accessible by only a click away, educate yourselves Bermuda.

    • Cleancut says:

      Are we getting value for money? Well it will be up to the electorate to decide that at the next election.

    • PEPPER says:

      Black Pride….your name says it all !!!! it is ok with you to be robbed by govt because they are black …and to hell with the peoples needs …..I hope there are not any more people out there that think like you.

    • crazytalk says:

      So… it’s ‘your turn at the trough’ is it?

  11. Terry says:

    Does she not still work for Ace? Been out of touch for some time but if she does she must be making at least $500,000 +. Correct me if I am wrong. If I am, it’s the UBP’s fault…..

    • LOL (original) says:

      No she doesn’t still work for ACE.


  12. Terry says:

    You know me, crazy as crap…….

    Just browsing here on my hair net and listening to “18 Wheels and Dozen Rose’s” by Kathy Mattea……….Irony is a beach….

    Count the little black squares next to the names/positions…………………


    Good thing I was not listening to “Candles in the Wind”……….

  13. #### says:

    So,are we saying that Paula gets:

    ■Members of the House: $56,022.94
    ■■Full Time Minister in the House of Assembly: $112,045.87
    ■Minister of Finance: $78,432.11
    ■Premier: $168,068.81
    $414569.73 of our Money.. and doing Jack for US?

    • Terry says:

      Does she still work for Ace?…..I knew I was not far off…..jingus……

      Um gunnna have a dubble…….detz rite…..”nurse…nurse….room 241……damn halp…..ver dee hal his de Minysta uv Reehabeelytansheon…..

    • sigh says:

      She does not make $414,569. The salaries are not all additive.

      • #### says:

        ” The payment options then change for MPs sitting in the House of Assembly, with them also receiving a base pay plus differing amounts of additional positions held ”

        I believe that they are cumulative, why do you think our previous Premier held three cabinit posts…

        • LaVerne Furbert says:

          The former Premier held only one cabinet position. He was the Minister of Tourism and Transport which was one ministry. They are now 2 separate ministries.

          • Hmmmmm says:

            Take it to its logical conclusion Senator Furbert: Dr. Brown was saving money. Larger Cabinet and two Ministers where he was one. A story you’ll never read anywhere.

            • 32n64w says:

              Saving taxpayers money? Really, are you serious? Have you checked our national debt figure recently?

    • Ryan Whiting says:

      She would be making several hundred thousands more than what she does in the private sector. These salaries are much less than I had expected, and, thus, I do not think a pay cut should be considered.

      • #### says:

        So she should make more than the Prime Minister of England, and be on Par with the President of the US… I think NOT!!! yes, Mr Obama takes home $400K (But I doubt he pays tax on that)

        • Ryan Whiting says:

          I do know exactly how much the president of the United States takes home, and can confirm that, yes, he pays tax on his income (like all Americans!). With that said, he his millions in book revenues should balance things out a bit.
          Additionally, Mr. Obama does not have to pay a cent in food, housing, electricity, water, travel, etc… (that is, amenities normal Americans must bear with), all of which cost millions of dollars a year. Mr. Obama never sees a bill for that, though. Thus, his income is just that: 100% income, before tax. I doubt the people of Bermuda comp those expenses for Mrs. Cox’s private residence!
          I hope this puts things a bit more into perspective! … and just think about those in town raking in $800,000+ a year! Should *they*, by your logic, make more than the Prime Minister of England, and, in some cases, several times more than the President of the United States?

          • Stephen says:

            Comparing the POTUS to the Premier if Bermuda is comparing apples to oranges. A president’s salary is minuscule in comparison to what they bring in afterwards going on public speaking tours. That being said, the fact that Bermuda’s ministerial salaries are even remotely close a country with a population of 307 million people is absurd. We would be considered a very small town in the US, and would probably be most comparable to a 500,000 person city in the sense that our ministries do not have a federal government to support them.

            As for people in the Private sector. Their pay is determined by supply/demand, and the profits their work is expected to generate. They make $800K + a year because someone believes that paying their salary/bonus is a good investment (whether they are worth that salary or not is another question for another day).

          • In General says:

            I thought we do provide housing for the Premier, it is called Clifton. Prior to that it was Camden House. I believe she is looking to move into the residence in the near future.

  14. the truth says:

    I had no idea the ‘party whip’ was actually a salaried position. You learn something new everyday……

  15. Hmmmmm says:

    This thread is so sad. These ridiculously low salaries and the hate that you all display is exactly why we have the losers we do in politics right now. Who would want to be bothered dealing with such idiocy. These salaries are a joke in a modern and sophisticated democracy like Bermuda.These people control a billion dollar economy and are being paid peanuts.As the cliche says: if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Meanwhile, our best and brightest stay in countries where their experience and smarts are valued or reside in the private sector making three times some of these salaries. We cannot afford to be so spiteful when we need the brightest minds at the table.

    • Justin says:

      I make less than $200k a year, but I could have told you that Bermuda is NOT post-recession like Paula Cox did last year when she presented the 2010 budget. I also could have told you that Bermuda’s economy would be impacted by the US’s recession unlike Paula Cox who said that America’s economic troubles should have no impact on Bermuda. Thus, by paying someone a high salary does not ensure that you have the best talent.

      For example, Zane Desilva as health minister? Would you go to him for a check up? How can he possibly be credible and taken seriously sitting around a bunch of doctors? They could feed him any BS and he would have to take it as gospel, because he doesn’t have the education to know the difference.

      Paula Cox is a lawyer, not a finance expert. Hence the reason why Bermuda is $1b in debt!

      Therefore, higher salaries do not equal the best talent.

      On another note, I don’t believe any politician should be in politics for the money, and instead individuals should get involved in politics for the betterment of their country. Maybe if the salaries were unattractive we can weed out the greedy politicians and attract individuals with Bermuda’s best interest at heart. After all, greed is what got Bermuda in this economic situation anyway!

      • PEPPER says:

        Justin. you said it all.

      • Hmmmmm says:

        talk about missing the point. if you paid better you’d get better than you have now. just for the record Zane’s not meant to be a doctor as the minister of health.

        • Ring Master says:

          @Hmmmmm. You stated above the salaries are peanuts. You then said if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. So using your own words we have must have monkeys running Bermuda. Interesting you disparage the PLP Governement in such a way, but that is free speech. Then there is Dale Butler saying the salaries paid to MPs are too much which is why they cannot vote against the Government. So are they paid too much as per Dale, or too little as per you? Don’t forget many MPs and Senators also take home additional salaries from other sources such as the BIU.

          • LaVerne Furbert says:

            I am the only senator who “takes home an additional salary” from the BIU. However, all other senators “take home” additional income from other sources. That also goes for all Members of Parliament, PLP, UPB, and OBA, including MP Butler.

      • Bryan says:

        Finally someone is talking sense! The greed is obvious and self evident regardless of whether the politicians admit it or not ( which they won’t.. duh.)
        Yes the UBP did cause a lot of the problems currently facing Bermuda but having said that, most UBP members where already financially sound by the time they entered politics so the hunger was not as acute as the hunger of today’s crop of political talent. And while there are still some in Bermuda’s Government who actually give a damn about Bermuda on the whole there is a culture of greed and avarice which will only be redressed by changing the motivation for entering the political arena, ie… Join the political process for the betterment of the community instead of the betterment of your Social /Economic standing. There is nothing wrong with someone being paid for their services but if you are financially sound then maybe you can set the example and take less pay and still serve the community. I challenge any DECENT member of Bermuda’s government to make that stand.

  16. Face the Nation says:

    I think they deserve every penny that they EARN if indeed they are EARNING IT . I would hope that they are paying tithes and generously supporting a needy charity . To whom much is given much is required .

  17. Brian says:

    Zane Desilva is health minister because they are building a new hospital. He is a construction boss. Hello!! He is there to act as a project manager. Plain and simple.

    • crazytalk says:

      If they want a contruction manager they should hire one. Not a self-interested double-dealing person who is supposed to be a public servant.

  18. joe says:

    Oh! But you are all forgetting the other stuff. These people pay no taxes on their salaries like we do; no pension contributions; no health insurance. EB also a housing allowance, staff, entertainment allowances, etc. They get cars, gas and insurance for which they pay nothing. So what’s all this costing? I would say EB pulled in an other 20K/month. So, when someone writes an article like this they should get all the facts down first, not just the obvious ones. After all, in Bermuda today it is about the stuff we don’t know about (and they don’t want us to know about) that is most interesting.

  19. bda for life says:

    Laverne Furbert quit it and just admit that the Brown led govt and now the Cox led govt is sending us spiriling out of control. You act like the plp has done no wrong yet the island is suffering in levels never seen before

  20. stop the BS says:

    Bryan you say the UBP caused many of the problems facing Bermuda today, could you be more specific and also tell us specifically what the PLP has done in 12 years to fix them. Surely you do not expect the public to feel good about Zane being the project manager at the new hospital! You have a very short memory.

  21. stop the BS says:

    Denis project managed for TCD and we all know how that woked out for the tax payer!

  22. codfish89 says:

    plp is a non-proformance govt,overspend our money,put Bda in the red,plus to add insult to injury they are high maintenance govt with nothing to show for this.Bermuda is the only island havnt improve their tourism nor put a hotel since they came into power.This is embarassing plus not to mention the sickening killing and increase of crime.Come on are u all blind to see the truth of this inefficient and self interest bunch of ppl who are oblivious to all our problem..They are still high flying enjoying exorb.salaries with no shame.