Kirk Meighoo

Former PNM MPs Ashton Ford and Eddie Hart are among employees at certain PNM constituency offices while UNC Mayaro corporation chairman Glen Ram – who is on corruption charges – and political analyst Kirk Meighoo are also employed at UNC constituency offices.

And other people who work at the Opposition Leader’s office and in other UNC offices are also involved in the media or are social media bloggers.

The information is contained in a listing of constituency office employees and monthly costs for employees’ salaries .

The information was obtained based on a Freedom of Information request.

The 41 constituency offices for the 22 PNM MPs and 19 UNC MPs are funded by the Parliament with taxpayers’ monies.

For the first year of the term which started in September, the total cost for salaries is $1.8 million.

Of the 41 offices, the minimum monthly cost for employees was $16,000 monthly for the Laventille West office of PNM MP Fitzgerald Hinds. He has three employees.

Maximum number of employees at offices was usually nine.

Maximum monthly employee costs was just over $50,000 for some UNC and some PNM offices .

The listing for PNM MP Lisa Morris- Julian’s D’Abadie O’Meara office shows one-time MP Ford among eight employees.

Salaries there ranged from $1,700 to $8,000. Ford’s salary was listed as $7,500.

PNM stalwart Ford said yesterday he had trained Morris-Julian from her start in politics and assists her and the party fully wherever his knowledge can serve.

Working at PNM’s Tunapuna office is former Tunapuna MP Eddie Hart (at salary $2,000) as advisor to MP Esmond Forde.

In UNC MP Rai Ragbir’s Cumuto-Manzanilla office ex-corporation chairman Ram is listed as field officer at a salary of $9,000.

He is before the courts on alleged corruption charges.

Also at that office is attorney Brian Baig as research officer at $8,000. He’s a former UNC senator.

In Chaguanas West MP Dinesh Rambally’s office, Meighoo is listed as a communication specialist/research officer at $10,000 monthly.

PNM San Fernando West MP Faris Al-Rawi’s is the second lowest in costs – $24,000 for his three employees.

Diego Martin North East MP Colm Imbert’s seven employees cost $29,000 monthly.

PNM’s Port-of-Spain North (Stuart Young) and Port-of-Spain South (Keith Scotland) offices also carry costs of $33 ,000 and $$32,000.

Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s Diego Martin West office has five employees costing $41,000 monthly.

UNC leader Kamla Persad- Bissessar’s Siparia office has six employees costing $35,700 monthly .

Her Opposition Office has 12 employees with salary ranging from a minimum of $4,850 (hospitality assistant) to $27,000 (legal officer).

An Opposition spokesman said yesterday salaries are set by the Chief Personnel Officer’s division.

Darryn Boodan, reportedly an Express columnist, is employed at the Opposition office as a corporate communication officer at just over $13,000.

A man who answered at Express yesterday said Boodan was a columnist.

Also at the Opposition Leader’s office is defeated St Ann’s East candidate Kenya Charles, an office support assistant salaried at $5,000.

Other listings include

•UNC MP Arnold Ram’s Caroni Central office – blogger Ravi Maharaj, communication officer, at $8,000

•UNC Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit’s office- social media activist Allan Karim , Research officer at $8,000.

•UNC Rudy Indarsingh’s Couva South office – GML radio talk show member Kieran Joseph Samaroo (communications/media work ) at $5,500 monthly.

* UNC MP Ravi Ratiram’s office- recently elected UNC Tobago co-ordinator Bheemal Ramlogan at $11,700

* UNC Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe’s office- former UNC senator Taharqa Obika- research assistant at $4,000

*UNC MP Barry Padrath’s Princes Town office – attorney Roshan Babwah at $9,700 monthly