Wednesday, July 12, 2017
CAP ON MINISTERS’ CELL PHONE BILLS IS A PARADIGM SHIFT – G2K
Kingston, Jamaica : Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party is today supporting the decision to implement strict measures to control the cellular phone expenses of Government and State Ministers. The organization has labeled the move as a paradigm shift in the way elected representatives operate. This follows Prime Minster Andrew Holness’ directive to audit, as well as the cap the mobile phone bills, of all government ministers.
Prior to the Prime Minister’s directive, no clear policy or standard was being applied across Government regarding the treatment of communication expenses for ministers and ministers of state. The longstanding absence of such a standard has resulted in significant spikes in cellular phone bills of government ministers across administrations.
President of G2K, Stephen Edwards said, “Spikes in cell phone bills have plagued numerous Government representatives across administrations. However, this is the first time that a Government is openly acknowledging and addressing the issue. The Prime Minister’s decision to implement new checks and balances for cell phone use will close the existing loophole and ensure that instances of cellphone bill spikes are minimized. This is the type of responsible leadership that we expect from our elected officials, where gaps in the system, once recognized, are confronted openly and dealt with decisively.”
G2K however, believes that the discussion about inadvertent spikes in cellular phone bills highlights a greater challenge that the general public faces on a daily basis. Jamaicans from all walks of life have fallen victim to spikes in cellular phone charges due to the lack of controls for mobile data usage.
“It is not uncommon to hear the complaints of people who have involuntarily exhausted their phone credit due to lack of controls by service providers for data and roaming charges. Often times there is no warning when data charges are being piled up, especially for persons who are not on a data plan. The system as it stands presents significant challenges for those who operate on a strict budget,” said G2K Vice president Tashay Rhoden
Generation 2000 is recommending that policy makers revisit regulations that govern telecommunications service providers, with a view of implementing measures that will strengthen the ability of the general public to manage their data usage.