Role of MP too diverse for set job description — Hylton

AMID talks of job descriptions for Government Members of Parliament (MP), representative for the St Andrew Western constituency Anthony Hylton is asserting that the role is too diverse for a set description.

At the same time, he stressed the inadequate funding allocated to constituencies to tackle various social and economic issues.

Hylton expressed his concern during the fact-finding event for the Callaloo Mews project led by American preacher/gospel singer Donnie McClurkin and the Perfecting Faith Missions Leadership team held at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Tuesday.

“Jamaica is still unclear about the roles for Members of Parliament. In fact, in this whole salary increase situation and the whole argument, what has come out of it for the first time is a description and an attempt to describe what that should look like,” he said.

His comments follow Prime Minister Andrew Holness’s tabling of a White Paper last Tuesday on job descriptions for Government ministers and a Green Paper on job descriptions for MPs.

“Members of Parliament play all kinds of roles — psychologists to every imaginable role. So to say that as it is in the United States and other places where the congressman roles are defined, that is just largely around policy and planning. In Jamaica, it’s everything from pastor and everything from the womb to the tomb. So the resources are really allocated to ministries and agencies,” added Hylton.

Regarding the $20-million Constituency Development Fund allocation, Hylton noted that it is overestimated and is believed to be given to the MPs.

“The $20 million, again and again, is misconceived because people believe that MPs get $20 million, and when you explain to them that there is no such thing and what happens is a programme that Members of Parliament get through influence, in terms of prioritising certain things,” he said.

“It comes broken up from the beginning, it comes as a stipulation — only $2 mil[lion] for this and $5 mil[lion] for that, so what you have to plan with is really more problem than anything for MPs,” he explained.