Former State Minister for Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford has cautioned the new Holness administration against being penny-wise and pound-foolish.
Prime Minister Holness last week announced an 18-member Cabinet with four state ministers.
Mr. Crawford has come under fire for a tweet where he scoffed at the size of the Holness executive and its emphasis on saving the country money.
Writing on Facebook, Mr. Crawford says it’s hard to determine what the size of a cabinet should be, but notes that it should be based on the talent.
He says a cabinet should be as as big as is necessary while being as small as possible.
He says the size of a Cabinet should depend more on the priorities of the government rather than incremental savings.
Crawford says if one was to view the Cabinet as a meal, with its first priority to save on cost, it would then mean that a purchaser would not get all the nutrients needed to be healthy.
This he says, would result in the purchaser becoming ill and forced to spend more on healthcare than he would have spent on the meal with the essential nutrients
Crawford believes that this is a clear example of being penny wise and pound foolish.
According to Crawford, he holds no grief for the fact that Andrew Holness has named a cabinet with two less members than that which served the Simpson Miller administration.
But he says the fact that Holness found it necessary to include it in his inauguration speech, as an example of greater commitment to austerity, makes him fearful that the Prime Minister may be more focused on the game of politics than the business of government.
Crawford says the age cohort of the Cabinet does not augur well for succession planning with at least two ministers over 50 and about six ministers over sixty.
He’s also questioning whether Holness should’ve named two or three more younger Junior Ministers with the objective of exposing them to the procedures of Government.
Crawford says he believes that saving money is good.
But he notes that in the context of a Government whose budget was over $645-billion last year, the saving of $24-million is equivalent to you being told that the cost of an item is $645,000 and when you ask for a discount you are told only $24 will be deducted.