Outraged by the 230% increase in salary for members of parliament while regular citizens received a mere 44 per cent increase to their minimum wage, many Jamaicans organized a day of protest to contend the injustice.
Many public figures including Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Alvin Bailey, and talk show host Dionne Jackson Miller have spoken out about the increase, and how unfair it is to the nation’s people.
A poster for the protest was circulated on the internet that read, “Protest the outrageous salary increases for parliamentarians! Friday, May 19 @8AM. Emancipation Park.”
According to Sleekjamaica on Instagram, the protest is ongoing and supported by the head of the Holiness Christian Church, Bishop Dr. Alvin Bailey, who is one of “several protesters just outside the Emancipation Park.”
While holding a sign with the word “SHAMEFUL”, Dr. Alvin Bailey stated, “I think Jamaica at this time cannot afford that levels of increase. It is also shameful…the levels of increase that has been given to politicians when so many other Jamaicans are crying because of the woeful inadequacy of the kinds of increases that they have received,” when asked about why they chose to hold a protest.
Bailey also mentioned that he is disappointed by the justifications given by the government when asked about the exorbitant increase in salaries. “This corruption in politics and the kind of skulduggery and behaviour of politicians are the things that are keeping people out of politics…the culture of politics need to be changed,” he said.
He further noted that he does not believe that the country has the financial ability to afford the salaries stipulated for parliamentarians and that the prime minister and minister of finance need to listen to the people that they have sworn to govern.
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