Prime Minister Andrew Holness has sought to clarify that he does not receive separate compensation for his role as a Member of Parliament or as Cabinet Minister, and says that he will not receive the higher salaries recently applied for the positions.
The information comes amid assertions that while Holness will not take the new salary as Prime Minister, the higher salaries for Cabinet Ministers or a combination of Members’ of Parliament and Ministers’ salaries would be applied.
Instead, the Prime Minister said he receives one salary for his highest role, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and is only paid for that role.
“I remain firm in my belief that adjustments are necessary to attract, retain and motivate the personnel with the caliber and skills required to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Government. However, considerations of the public sentiments towards politicians and concerns over equity cannot be overlooked,” said Holness.
He added, “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.”
The Prime Minister is an elected Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Cabinet. He is also the Minister responsible for the Office of the Prime Minister, the Minister responsible for the Cabinet Office, and the Minister responsible for the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
For these roles, Holness receives one salary in keeping with the long-established principle of the Government of Jamaica, that persons paid from the Consolidated Fund shall only receive one salary, regardless of the number of discrete jobs or functions they perform.
The principle states that in cases where persons hold multiple jobs, they are paid the highest salary for the jobs they hold.
Holness noted that reports that he receives multiple salaries ” has broader implications for not only the current holder of the Office of Prime Minister, but the previous holders of the office, and possibly future holders. A Prime Minister with a new mandate could always review the position.”