Sun | Dec 15, 2019

Not at this time, parliamentarians

Published:Thursday | November 21, 2019 | 12:07 AM


The one issue that all members of parliament – no matter their rung on the political ladder and no matter which side of Gordon House they sit on – will, unanimously, agree upon is that of raising their salaries. This thorny issue unites rather than divides Jamaica’s two major political parties.

There is no doubt that the prime minister, members of his Cabinet, the Speaker of the House, members of parliament and, for that matter, parliamentary secretaries are, for the most part, overworked and underpaid.

However, John and Jane Public, whether he/she resides in Jack’s Hill or Job Lane, will not take kindly to any announcement of a salary increase for parliamentarians. Why? Because of the numerous acts of corruption and, in some cases, perceived corruption, that politicians, from both parties, have been involved in, over many decades.

From the controversial Rollins Land Deal to the Caribbean Maritime Institute scandal, and from the Trafigura to Petrojam scandals, Jamaicans have become increasingly fed up with political corruption, which has cost Jamaica billions of dollars, over many decades.

Unfortunately, the good have to suffer for the bad so, at this time, I don’t think parliamentarians should receive a pay raise. Instead, they, like most decent, law-abiding, hard-working Jamaicans have to do in order to make ends meet, should learn to live within their means.

Patrick Gallimore