Fri | Dec 13, 2019

Clarke to address MP pay hike

Published:Tuesday | December 3, 2019 | 12:28 AM

The question of whether parliamentarians should receive better pay and emoluments, which has been the subject of intense public discourse in recent weeks, will be raised today in the House of Representatives.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke is expected to tackle the controversial issue when he responds to questions tabled by Kingston Central Member of Parliament Ronald Thwaites.

At a time when opinions are fiercely divided on whether parliamentarians should receive increased salaries, Clarke will reveal whether he will review and upgrade the emoluments for members of parliament (MPs) before the next Budget.

Thwaites will also ask the finance minister whether the Government had plans to improve the health insurance coverage accorded to MPs and, specifically, to retain such contributory coverage as part of retirement benefits.

A Gleaner editorial last month indicated that the basic pay of a government minister in Jamaica is J$5.6 million per annum, which is approximately seven per cent less than what an ordinary MP earns in Barbados. An ordinary Jamaican MP takes home around 40 per cent less than his/her Barbadian counterpart.

With a little more than J$7 million annually, the Jamaican prime minister’s basic salary is around half that of his Barbadian head of government.