Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:31

PM Andrew Holness gets only one salary, says OPM

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness recieves only one salary.

The Office of the Prime Minister made the declaration on Wednesday afternoon as it moved to dispel "misinformation" about the prime minister's decision not to take a salary increase.

"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," a statement from the OPM said.

It said that it is 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.

"In cases where persons hold multiple jobs or have discrete functions, the office holder would be compensated at the highest salary of the jobs or functions they hold," the OPM added.

It continued: "There have been assertions to the effect that while Prime Minister 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."

"For an abundance of clarity, the Prime Minister of Jamaica does not receive separate compensation as a Member of Parliament or as a Cabinet Minister," the OPM said.

It reiterated that the prime minister’s compensation will remain at its previous level, and said that no new or special allowance will apply, and no retroactive payments will apply to the prime minister’s compensation.

Prime Minister Holness stated:

"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."

He added 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,” Holness said.

The OPM also pointed out that another question that has been raised is how long the compensation of the prime minister would be removed from the new salary scale. 

In response, Holness said: “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.”