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PNP criticises JLP conference, says Holness offered no new policies

Monday, November 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —The People's National Party (PNP) has criticised the Jamaica Labour Party's 75thAnnual Conference, stating that much of the podium presentations were used to rebrand the“poverty to prosperity”slogan.

The Opposition Party, in a statement issued by it's General Secretary Julian Robinson following the conference yesterday, said the slogan was a failure and "has brought disappointment to the household of many Jamaicans".

It also said it is "grossly disappointed" with the presentation by JLP Leader and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, because "his speech at the conference offered no new policies or programmes to deal with the massive inequities arising from the continuing economic adjustment in the economy".

"The speech by Prime Minister Holness was a restatement of projects, programmes and initiatives started by the previous PNP administrations, including the road improvement programme and housing for the vulnerable, among others," the PNP said in its statement.

"Noticeably absent from his presentation were any updates to the St Thomas highway programme and the development of old Goodyear Factory into a state-of-the-art town center, which were promises already made to the people of St Thomas," the parliamentary Opposition continued.

The PNP said the speech also ignored the plight of farmers, particularly those in sugar and coffee, who are facing challenges. It noted that there was no indication from the prime minister that their situation is even being heard.

The Opposition party expressed that this was symptomatic of the off-hand way in which the Government has treated several sectors and groups in the economy who are facing dislocation, lay-offs and contract work issues.

"The JLP Leader's proposed solution to ending squatting, for example, lacks analysis and relies on already failed approaches. It does not take into consideration the historic nature of the squatting phenomenon which require radical rethinking and approach to solve this issue which has been part of the Jamaican history. The forced removal of squatters such as the most recent example in the Constant Spring area to facilitate road development should not be tolerated," the statement added.

The PNP said although it welcomed the initiative for low income housing, the Government should not delude itself into believing that $500 million could solve this major problem, as there is a requirement of some 100,000 units.


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