Jamaica’s Cabinet (2 Ministers not in picture)
Several Government Ministries and other public bodies have already bought or were planning to purchase several dozen VIP Jazz & Blues tickets along with luxury Hotel accommodations along the Rose Hall Elegant Corridor (Montego Bay) using Tax Dollars for Ministers, their wives/ other companions, personal assistants, security detail and other persons.
Thankfully the Cabinet Secretary Douglas Saunders nipped the evolving scandal in the bud!
Nevertheless this comes as no surprise, as while the government tells Jamaicans over and over the tighten their belts, demand that public sector workers absorb another wage freeze and readies to land billions more in oppressive taxes; they buy 16 luxury SUVs for Ministers, take on scores of multi-million dollar Advisors and Consultants; maintain a huge 20 member Cabinet, spend over J$140 million on a grand party in London during the Olympics and rack up multi-million phone bills!
One of the 16 New Prados bought with Tax dollars parked with engine throttling at Megamart last Christmas Eve
There are countless cases of profligate spending by our Government; first class tickets and high end accommodations for the Prime Minister and her Ministers has already run into tens of millions. Beyond that our Prime Minister who rides around in a modified BMW 5 series insists that she needs a new vehicle.
As all this unfolds our Minister of Finance Dr. Peter Phillips told Public Sector workers boldly during the budget debate last year that, “It cannot make sense to break into an empty shop, mek no sense to raid an empty cupboard. There is very little in the cupboard at this point in time”
When will it end?
See Jamaica Observer story today below with further information.
‘No jazz on public funds’
Cabinet secretary issues strong warning to Gov’t officials
Friday, January 25, 2013
CABINET Secretary Ambassador Douglas Saunders has warned Government officials against using public money to attend the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival now on in Trelawny, the Jamaica Observer learnt last night.
The warning was issued on Wednesday in the form of an official circular to the financial secretary and permanent secretaries, a copy of which was obtained by the Observer.
“It has come to attention that some ministries and other public bodies may be contemplating the utilisation of public resources to facilitate the attendance of public officials and other persons at the forthcoming Jamaica Jazz and Music Festival,” Saunders wrote in the circular.
“As such use of public resources would be inappropriate, you are hereby requested to ensure that no such expenditure is undertaken by your ministry or entities falling within its portfolio purview,” Saunders added.
The Observer was unable to get in touch with Saunders last night. However, a highly placed Government source said that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller had made it clear that Government officials attending the three-night festival must do so at their own expense, unless they were going there to work, and even then, any spending must be within reason.
The source was unable to confirm that the instructions were issued after it emerged that persons in the local government ministry were planning to buy a lot of tickets for officials and their friends.