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Phillips says growth not filtering to most people

Sunday, November 18, 2018

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Opposition Leader and People's National Party (PNP) President Dr Peter Phillips says every Jamaican, regardless of socio-economic standing, must be afforded the opportunity to experience real economic progress for self and family.

Phillips was addressing residents in Clarendon South Western at a spot meeting of mainly farmers and labourers from the farming belt during a tour last Thursday of sections of the parish as part of his “Duh Road Series”, a news release from the PNP said.

He said that the Opposition welcomes any growth in the economy and increases in employment but this must have meaningful impact on the lives of all the people.

“Dr Phillips pointed out that the growth being touted by the Andrew Holness Government is not filtering to most of the people, particularly those on the lower rung of the economic ladder,” the release said.

He said the “real beneficiaries of the economic growth are not the struggling farmers and labourers of Clarendon, the struggling housewives, and the many market vendors, or the young people, who are yet to be employed. It is not benefiting the teachers, nurses, police, firemen and security guard. 'It nuh reach dem people yet',” the release quotes Phillips.

“The JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) is spreading propaganda; everywhere you go they tell you that everyone is feeling the prosperity but when you go on the ground and check the reality of the life of the people what you find instead are testimonies of hardship, suffering and difficulties being faced day by day by ordinary citizens,” Phillips said.

“The big question that we have to ask ourselves, who is really benefiting from the growth? Are the fruits of that growth going to be shared up among a small few or are the fruits and benefits of such growth going to improve the lives of the majority?” he asked.

Phillips said that the rights of workers, which were championed by the likes of Norman Manley and the National Workers Union, are being eroded by the contract worker phenomenon. He said employees are now being referred to as contract workers although in practice they are operating as full-time workers, but without certain fundamental labour related rights.

He described the practice as unjust and said it must be condemned by all well-thinking Jamaicans.

He was accompanied on the tour by PNP Vice-President Phillip Paulwell; the member of parliament for Clarendon South Western Noel Arscott; councillors Uphel Purcell of the York Town Division and Carlton Bailey of the Milk River Division and other party stalwarts.

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