Western News

Pray for the Government, Montague urges Labourites

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013    

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TROY, Trelawny — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Chairman Robert Montague has called on party supporters to pray that the Portia Simpson Miller-led Government adequately prepares the nation for the expected hardships that will accompany the pending International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement.

"I know I am going to say something now and some people going to be vex. But, as Christian people, and as Labourites, we need to pray for the Government. We need to pray for the prime minister so God will give her the strength and the fortitude to come to the people, and level with the people, and tell us what is to come. We need to pray for the Government because we don't want when we take over back this country the thing mash up," Montague argued.

He added that the Government should prepare the nation for the imminent hardships ahead, similar to how people would notified be about dangers asociated with an approaching hurricane.

"We are in the middle of an IMF agreement discussion, and things have to get rough before they get better. But the Government must level with us, they must be honest with us and take the people into their confidence so that we can get ready," he added.

He recounted that during the 2011 General Election campaign, JLP leader Andrew Holness was bold enough to warn "that bitter medicine will have to be administered to the country.

He warned that "today the medicine, which is about to be administered, is not bitter medicine... it is poison."

Montague was addressing the JLP Area Council Four Annual General Meeting at the Troy High School in South Trelawny on Sunday.

Among other things, the IMF is demanding a reduction in the country's debt and has reportedly proposed that a reduction in the public sector wage bill would help to solve that problem.

Some economics have argued, however, that any slash in money paid to public servants could only come from either a wage freeze or by trimming the public sector.

In the meantime, Montague promised that the Opposition JLP will only work with the People's National Party's Administration to tackle the economic challenges ahead.

"The labour party is willing to work with the Government, because at the end of the day, though it is a PNP Government, it is the Government of Jamaica, it is our Government," Montague explained.

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