Clarke announces massive salary increases for politicians; PM to take home nearly $30m next year

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The country’s political directorate is today seeing the biggest increases in salaries in decades with the prime minister set to take home nearly $30 million per annum by next year.

The increases which range over three years from 2022, form part of the Government’s compensation review of the public sector. They were announced in the House of Representatives by the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke.

The revised compensation levels are as follows:

Prime Minister - $22.3m as of April 1, 2022, $25.3m as of April 1, 2023 and $28.6m as of April 1, 2024;

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition - $20.1m in 2022, $22.7m in 2023 and $25.7m in 2024;

Minister of Finance - $19.2m in 2022, $21.7m in 2023 and $24.6m in 2024;

Cabinet Ministers and Speaker of the House will be paid at $52 above the level of the permanent secretary and will see their salaries move from $17.8m in 2022, $20.2m in 2023 and $22.8m in 2024;

Minister of State - $14.3m in 2022, $16.2m in 2023 and $18.3m in 2024;

Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Speaker of the House - $13.4m in 2022, $15.2m in 2023 and $17.2m in 2024;

Member of Parliament - $11.1m in 2022, 12.5m in 2023 and $14.2m in 2024.

The increases to parliamentarians will cost $1.7 billion over three years.

Clarke said previous allowances enjoyed by the political directorate including housing and telephone, will be discontinued effective April 1, 2022.

Politicians at the local government level have also benefited from big increases, with the Mayor of Kingston salary more than doubling from $3.8 million to $10.1 million effective April 2023.

Despite the huge increases to the political class, Clarke emphasised that the judiciary, whose members have benefited from a 100 per cent increase over the three-year period, remains the highest paid branch in the government.

He also outlined that the senior leadership of the entire public service to include the police, nurses, teachers and doctors have benefitted from huge multi-million dollar increases.

At the lower level of the public service some workers got increases bigger than 200 per cent.

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