The speech by Prime Minister Holness was a restatement of projects, programmes and initiatives started by the previous PNP administrations, including the road improvement programme and housing for the vulnerable, among others.
Noticeably absent from his presentation were any updates to the St. Thomas highway programme and the development of old Goodyear Factory into a state-of-the-art town center, which were promises already made to the people of St. Thomas.
The speech also ignored the plight of the farmers, particularly those in sugar and coffee, who are facing challenges but received no indication from the Prime Minister that their situation is even being heard.
The PNP said that this was symptomatic of the off-hand way in which the government has treated several sectors and groups in the economy who are facing dislocation, lay-offs and contract work issues.
The JLP Leader’s proposed solution to ending squatting, for example, lacks analysis and relies on already failed approaches. It does not take into consideration the historic nature of the squatting phenomenon which require radical rethinking and approach to solve this issue which has been part of the Jamaican history.
The forced removal of squatters such as the most recent example in the Constant Spring area to facilitate road development should not be tolerated.
The Party said although it welcomed the initiative for low income housing, the government should not delude itself into believing that $500 million could solve this major problem, as there is a requirement of some 100,000 units.
The PNP says it has also taken note that the JLP used much of the podium presentations to rebrand the failure of the “poverty to prosperity” brand which has brought disappointment to the household of many Jamaicans.
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