Senate stipends will remain unchanged says Finance Minister
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Following a review of a recommendation made in a circular sent to Gordon House that a major increase be applied to the stipend paid to senators who are not Cabinet ministers, the Ministry of Finance has announced that no such increase will be implemented.
In a release on Tuesday, the Minister of Finance, Nigel Clarke explained that since media reports of an increase began making the rounds, he has asked the Financial Secreatary to rescind the letter dated September 14, 2023 which outlined a proposed increase.
“I wish to make it clear that these increases will not be implemented. As such I have asked the financial secretary to write to the clerk with instructions to rescind her letter of September 14, 2023. The correspondence from the clerk followed from a Cabinet decision of 2008 that automatically indexed the stipend of the senators to the highest fee paid for service as a board director on a public body board,” Clarke’s statements read. “Immediately prior to this 2008 decision senators were being paid $1,000.00 per meeting and the highest public body board fee was $6,000 per meeting.”
He went on to reveal that when public body board fees were last increased in 2019, Senate stipends were automatically adjusted as per the 2008 Cabinet decision. Those adjustments took effect in April 2020.
Senators who are not Cabinet ministers are paid a stipend for each sitting of the Upper House of Parliament which they attend.
The circular, which was prepared by technocrats at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, indicates that the stipend paid to senators should be increased from $53,000 to $148,000 per senate sitting.
The stipend paid to senators was not increased during the public sector reclassification exercise, which was implemented recently.