The government of Prime Minister Andrew Holness continues to face bruising criticisms this morning because of the astronomical phone bill of Finance Minister, Audley, Shaw.
Political commentator, Claude Robinson, says the expenditure reveals a ‘total lack of accountability’ in the Finance Ministry.
While, veteran journalist, Franklin McKnight, says it’s ‘outrageous’ and ‘unacceptable’.
The criticisms continue as the government is seeking to cauterize the political fallout over the growing phone bill controversy.
Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, is taking a battering over his exorbitant phone bill. It’s causing problems, too, for the Jamaica Labour Party administration. It’s losing political capital. Following an urgent meeting of his Cabinet yesterday, Prime Minister Holness said Mr. Shaw’s more than 8-million dollar phone bill is ‘unacceptable’.
Veteran journalist, Franklin McKnight, agrees.
He says the bill is ‘outrageous’.
Political commentator, Claude Robinson, says Mr. Shaw’s phone bill shows there’s no accountability in his Ministry.
Mr. Robinson says he’s also surprised that Minister Shaw wasn’t aware of his phone bill until an Access to Information request was made by the media.
As the political fallout continues, Prime Minister Holness is trying to contain the damage.
The credibility of man he’s appointed to safeguard the public purse is being badly undermined.
A statement yesterday from Jamaica House says Mr. Holness has ordered an audit of all cell phone bills of Ministers and State Ministers.
And, a civil society advocate is taking issue with Minister Shaw’s response to the questions raised about his 8-million dollar phone bill.
In yesterday’s interview on Cliff Hughes Online, Minister Shaw spoke of his wife’s illness, among other factors, which he says contributed to the sum.
But former Co- Executive Director of the Jamaica Civil Society Coalition, Jeanette Calder, says that was an inappropriate response.
Ms. Calder is also commending Prime Minister Holness for what she calls the ‘immediacy’ of his response to the news.