Jamaican ministers hired scores of advisors, aides, 'in face of austerity budget'
KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 8, CMC – The Sunday Gleaner newspaper said that while presenting an austerity budget, Finance Minister Peter Phillips led ministers in the hiring of scores of advisors and aides, adding about 100 million JA dollars (1.13 million US dollars) to the government’s wage bill.
According to documents turned over to the paper on request under the Access to Information Act, it said at least eight ministers had committed close to 100 million dollars annually in wages to some 40 consultants and executive/personal assistants who were hired in the first six months of the year.
On May 24, Phillips presented a budget in which he flatly rejected calls for spending to stimulate the Jamaican economy, saying that it would only widen the country's deficit. He added that international financial institutions were unwilling to lend to Kingston based on its current level of debt.