14 Sep PNP Spokespersons on Labour and Social Security Call on the Government to Make Special Budget Allocation for a New Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities
PNP Spokespersons on Labour and Social Security Call on the Government to Make Special Budget Allocation for a New Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities
Opposition Spokespersons on Labour and Social Security, Dr. Fenton Ferguson and Senator Floyd Morris, have issued a joint call for the Government to make an adequate budgetary allocation in the 2017-2018 Budget to the new Jamaica Council for Persons with Disabilities (JCPD).
According to Ferguson and Morris, the Disabilities Act 2014 makes the JCPD into a statutory body. This means that it is an independent entity under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
The JCPD is to get its annual budget from the Consolidated Fund and this request must be made through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. According to Ferguson and Morris, we are going into the period where preparation is to be made for the Budget for 2017-2018 and we are calling upon the Government to ensure that adequate provisions are made to fund the new JCPD so that they can provide adequate services for persons with disabilities in Jamaica.
The JCPD is the entity that has been established to cater to the needs of persons with disabilities in Jamaica.
Ferguson and Morris argue that the former PNP administration created the Disabilities Act 2014 to protect persons with disabilities against discrimination and to provide mechanisms for their empowerment. The new JCPD is to lead that process and therefore must get adequate resources in order to do an effective job.
Under the Disabilities Act 2014, the new JCPD will be required to implement the provisions of the legislation and to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are not violated.
The legislation, among other things, makes provision for educational institutions, health facilities, employers, public transportation, to provide reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. The law frowns upon discrimination against this vulnerable group and there are penalties for any violation.
According to Ferguson and Morris: “We are concerned that if the Government does not make the provision from now, nothing will come to the Parliament for the new JCPD in the next budget cycle.