JAM | May 20, 2023

Holness assures accountability measures coming for ministers, MPs

/ Our Today

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Prime Minister, Andrew Holness (left), addresses a ceremony for the handover of a two-bedroom house, under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP), in Riversdale, St. Catherine on Friday (May 19). Listening is housing beneficiary, Carl Rose. (Photo: Adrian Walker)

Amid the recent flare up over the drastic increase of political officials’ salaries, Prime Minister Andrew Holness says accountability measures are coming for ministers and members of parliament (MPs) to ensure they perform.

Holness was speaking at the handover of a two-bedroom house under the New Social Housing Programme (NSHP) in Riversdale, St Catherine on Friday (May 19), where he assured that the political directorate will be held to account for the new salaries they will receive.

The announcement of the salary increases was met with harsh criticism from the public and some members of the Opposition when they were announced on Tuesday (May 16). The citizens were outraged that some Government officials would see a 200 per cent increase in their salary, while ordinary citizens are struggling to make ends meet.

“We have established, and I will announce shortly, a series of accountability measures and I have said to my MPs and the ministers that the cost of this policy is accountability. Every single MP, all ministers are now committed to ensuring that they earn the salary,” he said.

The prime minister said he was pleased with society’s call for accountability and performance standards given the recent salary adjustments under the compensation review.

He pointed out that the entire public service will have to adhere to a performance-based compensation system.

“We have focused on improving the compensation element; the second phase now is performance-based renumeration systems. This will be implemented both for the executive and the legislature, and it will also be the general trend for the public service. The idea is that we must now claim increased productivity, having addressed the longstanding issue of the wage levels in the public service,” he noted.

Holness said the MPs understand that having got this increase they must now prove to the Jamaican people “that the [salaries] are justified and they understand that; they understand that the accountability issues are foremost in the mind of the people and that we must do tangible things.”

Meanwhile, the prime minister noted that having served as an elected representative for more than 25 years, he has built a reputation of giving to worthy causes and “I will continue to give. I have been doing this for a long time.”


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