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PM went back on word with large 'breakfront'

Published:Saturday | January 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM


My problem is not with the size of the Cabinet but how quickly and effortlessly Madam Prime Minister has gone back on her word. Or has she forgotten these words: "If I were in power I would not have such a large Cabinet, I would not give the country a breakfront."

When the then Prime Minster Golding and his Cabinet took a cumulative 25 per cent salary reduction (15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively), she and her shadow Cabinet refused to follow suit, stating that it was just a token measure and that it woud be more meaningful if he slashed the size of his Cabinet.

She called them "incompetent, inexperienced, and inadequate" and stated that he should not expect cooperation from the Opposition and the Jamaican people as long as he maintained that size Cabinet.

Now with a larger "breakfront", increased salaries (no pay cut for the Simpson Miller administration) and the attorney general and speaker still to be added, plus the 63-member Parliament, up from 60, does Madam Prime Minister expect cooperation from the Opposition and the Jamaican people?

She spent her time in Opposition telling us how an uncaring Government found work for the "boys". Where do her recent moves leave us now?

Was it that all along when we were being told how uncaring the JLP Government was, it was actually overpaying us?

If we could not feed our families on our previous salaries plus maintain a large Cabinet, how are we now to feed them with smaller salaries while maintaining a larger Cabinet with higher salaries?

Has the PNP forgotten the IMF forecast of worse times to come?

I just hope we are not about to repeat the 1976-1980 period in our history, because this time Jamaica might not be able to recover.