Phillips blasts JLP for failing to remove schools from shift system

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter

Monday, March 20, 2017

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FALMOUTH, Trelawny — President-designate of the People’s National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips is livid over the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Administration’s failure to take 24 schools off the shift system, after the previous PNP regime left a budget in place to facilitate the process.

Arguing that the Andrew Holness-led Administration is threatening to erode the "foundation" inherited from the previous government, the Opposition spokesman on finance said that none of the 24 schools has been taken off the shift system since the change of administration last year February.

"We already took 48 off and left them the resources to take 24 more off the system because we believe that every Jamaican child, no matter what school you go, should get the same hours at school; to get the same opportunity to advance, because we don’t believe in one standard of education for a few and another standard for the rest. How much school them take off last year? Not even one, not even one!" Phillips bemoaned.

Speaking at a mass rally at the Falmouth All-age School Saturday night, the heir apparent to the PNP’s top post, told party supporters that the JLP is now attempting to set back a burgeoning economy they inherited from the PNP.

"When you compare what we inherited and you look at the situation when we left office in 2016, then, our (Jamaica’s) inflation was the lowest in 50 years. Jamaica was the best performing country of all the countries the IMF (International Monetary Fund) was dealing with. Our debt had come down by more than 20 per cent. What we are seeing now is not just that we gave them a smooth, functioning economy, is not just that we gave them an economy that was growing, is not just that we gave them an economy where employment was growing and unemployment was coming down — what we are seeing now is a Government that is threatening the foundations that have been laid," Phillips said.

"They are threatening the sacrifices that have been made by the people of Jamaica. But they are not only threatening the country’s sacrifices, they are threatening the livelihood of every single Jamaican."

He took the Government to task over the $13-billion tax package announced by Finance Minister Audley Shaw in his budget presentation recently, which he said "will result in unnecessary hardship for the Jamaican people" and that only came about to fulfil the election promise to raise the income tax threshold to $1.5 million.

"Them will come and say how much taxes the PNP impose and the truth is we did have taxes. But we inherited a country in 2012 that was on the verge of an economical collapse caused by the previous (Jamaica) Labour Party Administration," Phillips argued.

"We had to correct the economy at that time," he said.




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