Though she’s off the island, entertainer Tanya Stephens is standing in solidarity with protesters who are urging the Jamaican government to roll back its recent salary hikes for parliamentarians.
Today (May 19), a handful of Jamaicans gathered at the Emancipation Park in New Kingston to express their disapproval against the outrageous salary increases for parliamentarians. Where is the performance appraisal document to justify your increase?, ‘People in poverty while politicians pad their pockets’, and ‘No justification for huge salary increases’ are some of the messages on placards carried by peaceful protesters.
Despite being booked for a show in Antigua, Tanya Stephens via her official Instagram account has shared a flyer of the poster which probes the questions of why no accountability, and while our people suffer.
Other entertainers showing solidarity with the people across social media platforms are Bounty Killer, Cham, Buju Banton, and Spragga Benz.
In an attempt to defend what many have labelled, “unjustifiable and unreasonable salary hikes”, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has implied that “Higher salaries will put politicians under pressure to perform.”
During a floral tribute ceremony on May 18, to mark the 100th anniversary of the late former Prime Minister, Hugh Lawson Shearer’s birth, the Prime Minister said, “You are going to see, as a result of this increase, an improvement in the level of entrants coming into the political field. You’re also going to see an improvement in the existing occupants of the posts, because they have to now step up their game.”
The PM’s comments came in the wake of public outcry following the government’s recent salary hikes for parliamentarians.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Mark Golding said he will only retain 20 percent of the approved salary increase.
According to the president of the PNP, of the approved 25 million dollars annually, the bulk (80%) will be given to persons in need and other worthy causes.
Effective April 2024, Prime Minister Andrew Holness will receive just over 28 million dollars annually for his salary.