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Phillips' advisors not being paid, says permanent secretary

Wednesday, February 20, 2013    

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THE three members of the Economic Advisory Council appointed last April to advise Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips on financial and economic matters are not being paid, the Jamaica Observer has been informed.

Permanent secretary in the ministry Devon Rowe told the Observer last week that Government Senator AJ Nicholson's disclosure in the Upper House a few weeks ago that the advisors will be paid $35,000 per month was erroneous.

"They're not being paid," Rowe said in response to an Observer query.

The Council comprises former financial secretaries Collin Bullock and Shirley Tyndall, and economist Dennis Morrison.

Nicholson, the leader of Government Business in the Senate, had made the disclosure in response to a question tabled by Leader of Opposition Business Arthur Williams on Friday, February 1.

Nicholson, on being asked to state the remuneration approved for payment to the members of the Council, "whether by way of salary, contractual payment fees, reimbursements, or otherwise", said that "based on the assessment of the advisory requirement of the member of the committee, payment of a fee of $35,000 per month was approved".

But last Thursday, after a news conference hosted by Dr Phillips at Jamaica House, Rowe, when asked how Nicholson came by that information, said he did not know, but he was investigating the matter.

"I have not completed my investigation yet, but that preceded me, but I am trying to find the actual documentation that the minister got, that he spoke from," Rowe said.

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