Letters to the Editor

It's folly to give $1b to Ministry of Economic Growth & Job Creation

Monday, March 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

I do agree with the 65 per cent of Jamaicans who gave the minister of finance's budget presentation such high marks.

At least it was listened to by the Opposition and, at the end of the day, it was only adjustments to be made, but no changes at large.

However, despite the above, I have an objection to the $1 billion being afforded to the ministry that was conceived to create wealth and growth — Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. I am therefore calling for those funds to be transferred to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, which possesses all the experts and professionals needed to implement a low-income housing project. Let's say the quad format that was introduced in Gregory Park (now a middle-class scheme).

For reasoning, the councils own lands and each would be asked to produce 500 quad units using half-hectare of land. The municipal corporations can find the needy people who just need the push-start, such as the gardeners, masons, carpenters, cosmetologists, bartenders, and any other small entrepreneurs.

All the above can find, at the end of the day, $5,000 per month to pay the National Housing Trust (NHT). This scheme would be adding new contributors to the NHT; hence, the $1 billion would not be a giveaway, but rather a start-up fund to the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development for infrastructure and technical work.

It is quite clear that the poor will benefit under the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development spending that money.

Councillor Lee Clarke, OD, JP

Whitehall Division

Kingston 8


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