Vehicle given to former PM Patrick John by the State
Vehicle given to former PM Patrick John by the State

Two years after announcing that his Dominica Labour Party (DLP)administration would be providing vehicles to all former Prime Ministers, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has finally honoured that promise.

Former Prime Minister Edison James and Desiree John, the wife of former Prime Minister Patrick John have confirmed that they have received vehicles from the government.

"We have gotten a vehicle from the State and I am very grateful for it," Desiree John said.

Edison James also did not wish to say much.

"Yes, I have gotten the vehicle on October 10, 2020 or there about and it has a government number plate and will be maintained by the State. All I have to do is to provide fuel for the vehicle," James said.

In his 2018 Independence Day address Skerrit declared his intention to set up, with the support of the parliamentary opposition, what he described as a bi-partisan committee to come up with measures for due recognition and reward to living former prime ministers of Dominica.

"I do not wish to anticipate the work of that committee, but I'm persuaded that at this stage of our development, no former leader should be receiving, as a pension, anything less than the current salary of a minister of government… also that they should not have to drive themselves or seek out transportation to official events and furthermore, that they should be provided a state-sponsored vehicle every five years," Skerrit said.

"I think here, of our very first prime minister and the man who led us into independence and who was there to raise the very first flag on the day of our independence. Today we salute Patrick John, our first prime minister. Then also, there is O.J. Seraphine and Edison James, reflecting on their contributions to our development. I'm not satisfied that we have been as generous to our past leaders as we should be," he said.

The vehicles that the former prime ministers received from the State are Hyundai Tasan 2020 SUV Executive; they cost about EC$95,000 each.