As opposition leader, Mrs Portia Simpson Miller was highly critical of the bloated Cabinet appointed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, which she claimed the country could not afford, even with Mr Golding and his Cabinet voluntarily taking a pay cut as part of the shared sacrifice for the betterment of the country.
Upon being elected prime minister in December 2011, and with the country's economy even more precariously poised, Mrs Simpson Miller proceeded unjustifiably to appoint a Cabinet bigger than Mr Golding's and with flashy new rides.
Her Cabinet is complemented with hordes of advisors, several of whom are political retirees and/or rejects, with seemingly very little to contribute, causing greater strain on the already meagre public purse.
Coming out of the recent Cabinet retreat, the Government advised the Jamaican people to prepare for more sacrifices, including wage restraint and tax increases on an already meagrely paid and overtaxed people.
I submit that the Government formed by the People's National Party, which likes to trumpet its love for the poor, must put action to that now nauseating rhetoric by demonstrating its empathy with the people in cutting the size of the Cabinet and reducing significantly the number of advisors/consultants to the Government. A Cabinet pay cut, however symbolic, should also be taken.
Were I the prime minister, I would consider a 15-member Cabinet along these lines, recognising the challenge posed in not having the best pool from which to form the ideal executive.
* Cabinet Office — Fitz Jackson as minister without portfolio with responsibility for the public service and information.
* Office of the Prime Minister (Defence, Environment, Land, Planning, Development, Local Government) — Dr Omar Davies and Noel Arscot as ministers without portfolio.
* Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade & Tourism — Anthony Hylton and Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams as deputy.
* Finance — Peter Bunting.
* Commerce & Industry (including sports and culture as industries) — Phillip Paulwell and Damian Crawford as deputy.
* Labour & Employment (including social security) — Horace Dalley.
* National Security — Dr Peter Phillips.
* Health & Family Welfare (including youth and children's affairs) — Dr Fenton Ferguson.
* Education — Ronald Thwaites.
* Justice — Mark Golding.
* Mining, Energy, Agriculture & Technology — Julian Robinson and Ian Hayles as deputy.
* Transport & Infrastructure — Dr Wykeham McNeil and Richard Azan as deputy.
* Water & Housing — Dr Morais Guy and Natalie Neita-Headley as deputy.
Kevin KO Sangster