#BudgetDebate 2018: Holness dismisses Phillips' claim of high food prices

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness today presented “receipts” contending figures quoted by Opposition People's National Party (PNP) leader, Dr Peter Phillips during his contribution to the budget debate last week suggesting “massive price increases since 2015”.

“We found the prices being quoted by him to be very interesting,” Holness said in his contribution the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives under the theme #Action2018.

“We received numerous calls from many Jamaicans that someone was either misleading the Opposition leader, or perhaps the Opposition leader only shops at the most expensive supermarkets. We know the reality, but being prudent we did our checks. We have receipts.

“The Opposition leader said that the price of flour is $65 dollars today when it was $45 in 2015. He said a tin of sardine is now $160, up from 108 in 2015, but the same supermarkets sell sardines at $120. Betty milk, which he said was $268, is actually $225 at the same supermarkets.

"Opposition Leader, my wife Juliet asked me to give you a frugal tip: change your shopping habits," Holness quipped.

He also outlined that the Consumer Affairs Commission survey of March 8 – 9, showed that the price of flour at Brooklyn Supermarket at Clock Tower Plaza, Supervalu in Havendale and Shoppers Fair in Duhaney Park is $43, which is less than the $45 dollar he (Phillips) said it was in 2015.

“Mr Phillips, you are spending too much. Save some money and buy some shares on the Junior Stock Market instead. It is doing very well since we re-instated the incentives you wanted to stop,” the prime minister further added.

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