Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Monday that he will decline the salary increase included in the recently announced compensation package by Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke.
During a press conference that lasted over an hour, the Prime Minister primarily focused on justifying the salary increases for members of the political directorate. While Cabinet Ministers will still receive their salary increases, Mr. Holness stated that he will continue to receive his current salary of $9.2 million.
In addition to this decision, the Prime Minister outlined a series of new measures to enhance accountability for parliamentarians.
These measures include financial penalties for missing parliamentary sittings, the implementation of job descriptions and a code of ethics for MPs, and the introduction of specialised training courses for MPs and Senators in parliamentary affairs, procedures, and practices. Completion of a designated number of training hours will be required for certification in these areas.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister revealed additional accountability measures, such as the mandatory publication of policy, administrative, and legislative priorities, along with targets and performance indicators by ministers at the beginning of each financial year, starting in 2024. This information will be presented as a Ministry Paper after approval by the Prime Minister.
In the much-anticipated Cabinet reshuffle, Mr. Holness announced several changes. Dr. Dana Morris Dixon, a new Senator, was appointed as a Minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for skills and digital transformation.
Floyd Green was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Mining, supported by Minister of State Franklyn Witter. A new ministry, the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications, and Transport, will be headed by Daryl Vaz, with JC Hutchinson as State Minister.
Audley Shaw, the former Transport and Mining Minister, has exited the Cabinet. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will now be led by Pearnel Charles Jr., taking over from Karl Samuda, who has also left the Cabinet. Mr. Charles will be supported by State Minister Dr. Norman Dunn in this ministry. Juliet Cuthbert Flynn has been appointed State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, working alongside Dr. Horace Chang, who remains the minister.
For the Ministry of Education, Fayval Williams will be joined by State Minister Marsha Smith. Zavia Mayne is the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, joining Dr. Nigel Clarke. Alando Terrelonge has been appointed State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These changes in the Cabinet reflect the government’s efforts to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability in its operations while addressing key areas of national importance.
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