The Full Story
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says with the salary adjustments announced for the political directorate under the new public-sector-compensation regime, there will be greater interest in the political field.
“Everyone who is occupying a political office ought to be thinking very carefully that I need to increase my political performance, because there are many young people out there now who have started to look at entering the political field with higher educational qualifications, higher skill level, and higher competencies,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a floral tribute ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the late former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Hugh Lawson Shearer’s birth, on May 18, at National Heroes Park in Kingston.
“You are going to see, as a result of this increase, an improvement in the level of entrants coming into the political field. You’re also going to see an improvement in the existing occupants of the posts, because they have to now step up their game,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister reiterated the Government’s stance that the adjustments are necessary to attract and retain talent.
“We continue to lose the potential that this country produces every year because the wage level is low. This Administration recognised that, and we have taken a decision to increase by over $100 billion the wage bill, and everybody is lifted,” Mr. Holness noted.
The Prime Minister said that Cabinet agonised over how to conduct the compensation review.
“It is not yesterday that the country, including those who are critical, have been calling for a compensation review. We know and respect the sensitivities over salaries,” Mr. Holness said.
“We sat in the Cabinet, and we agonised whether or not we should even take any increase. We agonised over it; it’s not something that we took lightly, because we know that there are persons who will try to make political fodder over it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister emphasised that there is need for a new parliament building.
“We need a new parliament; a country like Jamaica, we don’t have a parliament that we can all be proud of. If you try to build one, you are going to hear, ‘well, you could have used the money to build primary school’… ignoring the importance of ensuring that the core engine of your Government can work efficiently. It is through that, that you get greater deliberation and policies, you get greater oversight of policies, and you get greater effectiveness,” Mr. Holness said.
Mr. Holness said his Administration has taken on several nation-changing activities.
“We have taken on crime, massive investments in the police force. We are so proud of the Jamaica Constabulary Force to see what they [are doing] and the transformation that is happening. We are taking on education… we are taking on order in public places and we are taking on Constitutional Reform,” the Prime Minister added.