Salary adjustments necessary but communication poor
Andrew Holness

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Prime Minister Andrew Holness for listening. He has acted with the wisdom of Solomon in the matter of salary increases for politicians.

I don't believe the politicians as a group, over the years, have earned the increases now being contemplated. However, after listening to the thoughtful explanation given by the prime minister, I am prepared to accept that the adjustments were necessary, and the accountability and performance management measures to be implemented will result in a better-performing political class. My question is: Why weren't the explanations given by Prime Minister Holness communicated before?

The Government is doing many great things but communicates them poorly. I listened to Finance Minister Nigel Clarke in Parliament and on the All Angles television show, and I didn't leave those discussions sold on the proposed increases. While I quite like Minister Clarke, he speaks in numbers. There is quite a bit of processing necessary to understand his meaning and, of course, as a bright man, the power dynamics of any presentation he makes places him in a position of superiority, which could make him seem arrogant.

My advice to the Government is to scale up its communication effort. Pull back Clarke, Everald Warmington, and Aubyn Hill. Use Christopher Tufton, Floyd Green, Kamaina Johnson Smith, and young Matthew Samuda some more to carry government narrative. Minister of Information Robert Morgan needs more training and humility, but he is still good.

Ultimately, the best communicator is the prime minister. He needs to speak with us more.

Heather Simms

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