Jamaicans stage protest over massive salary increase to politicians
May 19, 2023 -Several Jamaicans gathered in Kingston on Friday to protest over the massive salary increase given to politicians which was announced on Tuesday by Finance and the Public Service Minister, Nigel Clarke.
The announcement has sparked debate and public uproar.
Protestors who were seen with placards are calling for the decision to be revisited.
A flyer has also been circulated on social media stating: “While our people suffer”, “why no accountability?”, “28 million”.
According to reports, some public-sector groups, such as teachers and police, have expressed that they cannot guarantee normalcy if issues concerning compensation reclassification are not addressed forthwith.
Major private sector groups, such as the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, along with several church groups, have also condemned the move by the Government to increase salaries for politicians by over 200 per cent.
The increases as outlined by Clarke on Tuesday are as follows:
- Prime Minister – $22.3m as of April 1, 2022, $25.3m in April 2023, and $28.6m as of April 1, 2024.
- Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition – $20.1m in 2022, $22.7m in 2023 and $25.7m in 2024
- Minister of Finance – $19.2m in 2022, $21.7m in 2023 and $24.6m in 2024
- Cabinet Ministers and Speaker of the House – $17.8m in 2022, $20.2m in 2023, and $22.8m in 2024. Ministers are paid $52 more per annum than permanent secretaries.
- Minister of State – $14.3m in 2022, $16.2m in 2023 and $18.3m in 2024
- Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Speaker of the House – $13.4m in 2022, $15.2m in 2023 and $17.2m in 2024
- Member of Parliament – $11.1m in 2022, 12.5m in 2023, and $14.2m in 2024.
- At the local government level, the Mayor of Kingston will be paid $11.4m in 2024, the Mayor of Montego Bay $10.3m, while the Mayor of Portmore and other mayors will take home $9.9m.
- Parish councilors will see their salaries move from $1.6m in 2021 to $5.7m next year.