03 Mar Statement by the People’s National Party to mark 1st anniversary of JLP’s Administration
As the Government marks it first year in office, the People’s National Party believes it is an important time to assess the Government’s performance.
The Party takes note of the fact that the Government has continued most of the policies under the Economic Reform Program, started by the Portia Simpson Miller led administration. These policies have laid the foundation for the economic stability and growth that the country has been experiencing over the last two years.
The PNP will undertake a more comprehensive assessment of the performance of the Government over the next few weeks but wishes to focus on five main issues at this time namely:
(a) The $1.5M tax free threshold
(b) The raising of the minimum wage
(c) The failure of the Government to deliver on its promised legislative mandate
(d) The $800M de-bushing programme
(e) The crime wave gripping the country
The PNP is deeply disappointed but not surprised that the JLP has not delivered on most of its major elections promises
(a) The main election Manifesto promise of a $1.5 Million tax free threshold without the imposition of any new taxes, has turned out to be one of the biggest scam this country has seen. The Government reneged on their promise that their $1.5 Million tax break would include no new taxes and imposed billions in new taxes to fund the first phase in July of last year. In another few weeks, the JLP will announce an additional $16 billion in new taxes on the poorest in the society, including minimum wage earners to fund the second phase of this election promise.
(b) The Government has also reneged on its promise to double minimum wage from $6000 to $12,000. The now Finance Minister Audley Shaw who had made the announcement, later revised it to $8,600.
(c) In the Throne Speech of 2016, the Government promised 15 pieces of new legislation including a fixed election date, term limits for the Prime Minister, referenda on critical national issues. Not one of these has been brought to Parliament.
(d) The most egregious act of the JLP Administration was the most corrupt vote buying practice in Jamaica’s recent political history, dubbed the “$800 million Bushing Programme”. The projected was executed on the eve of the November 2016 Local Government Elections, with only JLP operatives involved and not one elected PNP representative was informed or consulted, as is the norm in these projects.
(e) The PNP remains deeply concerned that the Andrew Holness led Administration has failed to articulate and formulate a crime plan to address the escalating crime wave facing the country. The Administration is also yet to deliver the “unprecedented” resources that it promised to allocate to the Ministry of National Security. The now infamous words of the Prime Minister that Jamaicans would be able to sleep with their windows and doors open under his Administration, has turned out to be a most inopportune comment as the country is being bloodied by the ever-increasing rate of crime, the lack of a crime plan and an under resourced Police Force.
The People’s National Party will continue to hold the Government to account and will also be proposing solutions to the critical problems affecting the Jamaican people.