Letters to the Editor

There's always money for tourists

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Some years ago, when the $60-million tourist sidewalk project was announced for Negril, I asked about the plight of the schoolchildren in Papine who had no proper sidewalk. Damion Crawford was a Member of Parliament at the time and junior minister of tourism.

My letter caused quite a stir.

So now I hear of $160 million for a wide, tidy, 400-m stretch of road in Ocho Rios that does not need improving. This travesty speaks to the mindset of our so-called leaders.

Fix Jamaica's roads — the many that really do need fixing — for Jamaicans and then let visitors come and enjoy them too.

The annual Capital A budget for the National Works Agency (NWA) this year is just $1.3 billion. The 400 metres of tourist road in Ocho Rios will be getting an amount equal to 12 per cent of that figure!

Why not boost the work of the NWA with more funds from the Tourism Enhancement Fund, which now goes into the consolidated fund in any case, and get a little nearer to the $100 billion that the NWA's Stephen Shaw says is needed to fix Jamaica's roads?

Paul Ward

Campaign for Social & Economic Justice

Kingston 7

pgward72@gmail.com

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