Don't break promise

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 April, 2004, 12:00am

What value do you place on a solemn promise? Your leader ('Colonial-era perk belongs in the past', March 31) urges the government to break promises it made to its employees in 1997.

Never mind the legality, the morality of promising one thing and then going back on it. Is it not a fundamental value of a society that believes in the rule of law that governments do not act arbitrarily in breach of their agreements with individuals just because it suits them? People planned their lives in 1997 around government promises and assurances. Decisions on future careers had to be made that were irrevocable. Those on overseas terms were told there would be no change to their terms. The overseas education allowance was a significant consideration for those who intended to educate their children overseas, often in the countries to which they would eventually retire to join them.

To take away the allowance from a family like mine, which decided to stay on because of such promises and which has children yet to leave for school overseas, would be a dishonourable course, a betrayal of trust.