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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness Receives Backlash Over His Salary Increase

The prime minister, Andrew Holness, has voiced displeasure over what he called “lies” being propagated about him accepting his sizable salary increase as a result of the compensation review, even though he has insisted on multiple occasions that he has not.

On Sunday, Holness said to Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) followers in South East Clarendon that he also feels like giving up his $9.1 million annual pay. He said this in a pretty severe and thunderous tone.

“I overhear a fellow talking all kinds of nonsense about how much money I get—$20…million and $28 million. Lie!” proclaimed a visibly angry Holness.

“My salary is the same as it was before, and I feel like giving it back to! because I’m a man of great pride. I don’t like it when people lie to me. Oh!” exclaimed an angry Holness.

Mark Golding, the opposition leader and president of the People’s National Party (PNP), is allegedly “the highest paid political man” in Jamaica, according to Holness, who claims that Golding earns “three times” what he does.

Holness implied that the workloads of Golding and the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, are very different by noting that both men got the same pay under the compensation review.

He claimed that Golding has no public obligations, unlike Chang, and is free to “run up and down and make mischief,” among other things.

The prime minister’s pay was supposed to increase under the review from $9.1 million in 2021 to $28.6 million on April 1, 2024. The head of government would receive $25.3 million yearly by April 1, 2023, and then more than $28 million the following year.

According to the review structure, Golding’s current compensation of $8.031 million will climb to $20.099 million with effect from April 2022, to $22.740 million with effect from April 2023, and then to $25.729 million with effect from April 2024.

As deputy prime minister, Chang will be paid similarly.

In a statement earlier this month, Golding stated that he had donated to charities 80% of his retroactive salary increase—a sum totaling $5,417,000—a commitment he had made in response to the public outcry over the astronomical raises that local politicians received as a result of the compensation review.



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