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Acting FS Marlon Johnson gets 80K salary increase, angering civil servants

Acting Financial Secretary Marlon Johnson recently received an extension of three years on his contract and an increase of $80,000 per annum bringing his annual salary to $200,000 which includes housing allowance, responsibility allowance, scarcity allowance, school tuition allowance and a brand new Toyota Avalon.

This news has angered civil servants who won’t receive increments or promotions this year and fear their salaries may be cut if the Covid-19 pandemic persists.

Does this mean Johnson, who spends most of his time on Facebook chastising government critics, is making more than Secretary to the Cabinet Camille Johnson?

A Cabinet secretary’s base salary is $86,000 plus allowances and other perks.

However, civil servants - many of whom are living from paycheck to paycheck - cannot get their measly annual increments and promotions which have been deferred to January 2021 or even longer.

To the chagrin of trade unions, the government froze hires, promotions and salary increases in the public service for this budget year in an effort to minimize the fiscal deficit while government consultants continue to enjoy five to six-figure salaries and other perks.

How can the government afford to boost the Marketing Man turned Financial Secretary’s salary when it claims to be “prudently managing fiscal resources” in the face of the worst global economic crisis in modern history?

“Preliminary data on the budget performance for FY2019/20 shows the dramatic impact of Hurricane Dorian and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic on the fiscal performance. The deficit saw an estimated threefold increase to $788.1 million, from $219.3 million in the previous year, when the Government then achieved the lowest fiscal deficit in over a decade,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Sunday.

Johnson's appointment as acting financial secretary sparked criticism as the top position is not typically awarded to political appointees. Johnson was not an employee of the Ministry of Finance at the time and the FS vacancy was not advertised before the former BTC marketing executive was appointed.

Johnson’s Facebook fingers have also landed him in hot water on several occasions. He often uses social media to lash government critics and blast former governments, which is unbecoming of civil servants.

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