Monday, 29 May 2023 12:30

Ann-Marie Vaz pledges 1st year of salary top-up to market fire victims

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Portland Eastern Member of Parliament Ann-Marie Vaz has promised to donate the first-year increase of her salary to the vendors affected by Sunday’s massive fire at the Musgrave Market in Port Antonio, Portland.

In a video release on Sunday, Vaz, stating that bad things come in threes, said she plans to help those impacted by the fire, starting with the additional funds from her salary.

Two weeks ago, Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced increases in salaries for Jamaica’s politicians over a three-year period ending April 2025. The increases are part of the Government’s compensation restructuring for the public service.

With the increases, Members of Parliament like Vaz will be moving from a salary of $11.1 million in 2022 to taking home $14.2 million by next April.

Speaking Sunday, Vaz said she was thankful that no life was lost in the tragic fire which started in the historic Musgrave Market and affected other nearby businesses in Port Antonio, Portland on Sunday.

"The fire caused significant damage to the market and nearby businesses,” Vaz said.

Expressing her devastation for all affected by the fire, she pledged to donate the “entire first-year increase in my salary” to the vendors affected.

“I am already in dialogue with the GOJ [Government of Jamaica] and various private sector stakeholders as I seek funding that we may assist as many people as possible who've been affected to get back up and running in the shortest possible time,” she said, adding that the market will be rebuilt.

Vaz’s announcement also comes on the heels of Prime Minister Andrew Holness disclosing last week that he will not be taking his massive pay hike under the new compensation structure for the political directorate.

Since the announcement of the increases for members of the political directorate two weeks ago, there has been public outrage over the new salaries.