Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness made his assets public to the media on Friday, vowing to put forth legislation to the Parliament calling for holders of four major political offices, including the opposition leader and finance minister, to do the same.
Um, so will Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller release hers to the media too? Don’t hold your breath. She’s on the do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do train. She ran from the debates and will run from this too.
According to Holness’ disclosure to the Integrity Commission, Holness’ assets are valued at JA$99.3 million and US$415,026, mostly made up of the value of his newly constructed home, which was a source of displeasure to the haters in the PNP like Peter Phillips. Holness’ total assents are approximately J$152 million, with liabilities of $34.4 million as of February 25, 2016. His net income is approximately JA$60 million and US$189,000, the Jamaica Gleaner reports. His securities holdings have fallen over the last few years.
Prior to becoming a minister of government in 2007, Holness operated three successful small businesses and owned two luxury vehicles. So, there should be no questions about how he got a lot of money prior to his stint as a government minister.
Financial accountability and transparency should trump all when you are leading a country. There should be no room for secrecy. Holness said, “I’m going to review the Integrity Bill, which is coming to Parliament soon, to make a provision that the prime minister, the leader of the Opposition, the finance minister and the person who speaks on finance, their assets must be publicly declared, and that a process is in place by which this is done.”
Holness said, “I took the time to go back through almost 10 years of declarations to make sure that they are accurate, and also to make sure that whatever I present is in keeping with whatever is the truth, and I’m satisfied that I have done so,” the Jamaica Gleaner reports.
While it’s not mandatory for presidential candidates in the U.S. to release their tax returns, it has been common practice for many years. If we are going to elect a candidate as the country’s next leader, then we must know how about their financial health. Congressional lawmakers in the U.S. have to file financial disclosures monthly.
This was a good move on the part of Prime Minister Holness. It should quiet the haters, who I suspect will find something else to b*tch about, all the while ignoring their lack of accountability. So, Sister P, will you follow suit or do you have something to hide.