Cabinet Approves Interim Mobile Phone Bill Cap

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Information Minister, Ruel Reid, says some Ministers who’ve had phone bills in excess of the new $40,000 per month limit may be asked to make some repayment.

Minister Reid made the disclosure shortly after he revealed today that Cabinet has approved a recommendation for an interim cap on the mobile telephone bills of all government Ministers.

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Senator Reid was asked whether the cap is to be applied retroactively.

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The cap is interim because a review of the mobile bills of Ministers is still being carried by the Finance Ministry.

The review follows a directive from Prime Minister Andrew Holness. It also follows disclosure weeks ago that Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, has racked up an $8-million phone bill over a year.

Amid public outrage, Prime Minister Holness said it was ‘unacceptable’, adding that the criticisms of his Finance Minister were ‘valid’.

Mr. Shaw says he’s paid back over $2-million of the sum. He said the charges were largely attributed to data roaming.

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Abka Fitz-Henley is a multiple award-winning journalist who is currently the Senior Reporter at Nationwide News Network (NNN). His primary areas of focus are Court, Crime and Parliamentary proceedings. Fitz-Henley was recently recognized in the regional celebrity magazine publication Panache as “The Breaking News Boss”. At 21 years of age, following his 1st year in media, Fitz-Henley was recognized with the Young Journalist of the year award from The Press Association of Jamaica and went on to cop one of the country’s highest recognized journalism prizes, the Journalist of the Year Award. He’s also been awarded the prestigious Corporate Jamaica Broilers Fairplay 1st place Award for investigative journalism and is the recipient of the Caribbean Blog Award for coverage of the infamous Kartel murder trial. Fitz-Henley is also the recipient of the PM Youth Award for Excellence. Over the years, he has appeared as a guest on the BBC World Service and BBC London.