Opposition raises concerns with senator stipend increase

September 26, 2023

Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Peter Bunting, has raised concerns surrounding the size of the per meeting stipend increase senators received effective April 1. 

The increase, which Bunting said was "obviously insensitivity to the current national context", sees senators paid $148,000 per meeting up from $53,000. 

He is calling for a review of the increase.

Several senators registered their opposition in a letter to the Clerk of the Houses of Parliament, Valrie Curtis, on Monday. The letter was shared with the media on Tuesday.

"We firmly believe that such a significant increase in stipend for Senators is neither justifiable nor appropriate, particularly at a time when crucial issues affecting essential public servants - such as police officers, healthcare workers, and teachers - remain unresolved," Bunting said.

The Opposition senators said a substantial increase for senators appears out of touch with the realities faced by the rest of Jamaica.

"In the interest of preserving public trust and confidence, we urgently request a reconsideration of this decision. We propose that these funds be reallocated to areas where they can make a more immediate and positive impact on the lives of the citizens we all serve. We kindly ask you to convey our position to the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service," their letter to Curtis stated.

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