PM seeks to dispel 'misinformation' on his decision to forego salary increase
Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking at Jamaica House on Sunday (Photo: Facebook @AndrewHolnessJM)

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Prime Minister Andrew Holness is seeking to dispel what he describes as “misinformation” on his decision to relinquish his salary increase.

According to a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), there have been assertions to the effect that while Holness will not take the new salary as prime minister, the higher salaries for Cabinet ministers or combination of members of parliament and ministers salaries would be applied.

But, the OPM noted that for “an abundance of clarity” Holness does not receive separate compensation as a member of parliament or as a Cabinet minister.

“The Prime Minister of Jamaica, who constitutionally must be an elected Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Cabinet, is also Minister responsible for the Office of the Prime Minister, Minister responsible for the Cabinet Office, and Minister responsible for the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. For these discrete functions the prime minister receives only one salary,” the statement read.

It added that this is in keeping with the long established principle of the Government of Jamaica, that individuals paid from the Consolidated Fund, shall only receive one salary, regardless of the number of discrete jobs or functions they perform.

Additionally, in cases where people hold multiple jobs or have discrete functions, the office holder would be compensated at the highest salary of the jobs or functions they hold.

Following public outcry, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has given up his massive salary increase that would have seen his pay balloon to $28.6 million in April 2024.

Instead, he will remain at his current salary of roughly $9 million and will not therefore receive any retroactive payments.

READ: Holness giving up his salary increase

“I remain firm in my belief that adjustments are necessary to attract, retain and motivate the personnel with the calibre and skills required to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Government. However, considerations of the public sentiment towards politicians and concerns over equity cannot be overlooked,” Holness said.

He further stated that despite disquiet, Jamaica is better today for having a coherent, transparent, fair and robust system of determining compensation. This has been talked about for decades, and my administration has gotten it done.”

Another question that has been raised is for how long the compensation of the prime minister would be removed from the new salary scale.

In response to this, the prime minister stated “this has broader implications for not only the current holder of the Office of Prime Minister, but previous holders of the office, and possibly future holders. A prime minister with a new mandate could always review the position.”

READ: Former prime ministers to miss out on big pension increases

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

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