JAMAICA | Revive the National Disaster Risk Council Golding urges PM Holness

JAMAICA | Revive the National Disaster Risk Council Golding urges PM Holness

KINGSTON, Jamaica September 1, 2021 - Opposition Leader Mark Golding has called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to revive the broad-based National Disaster Risk Council, which he said has been abandoned, and “ has not had a single meeting since I became Leader of the Opposition last November.” 

In a nationwide broadcast on Tuesday afternoon, Golding said “the Council should be bringing together both political leaders, as well as experts from public and private sectors, to provide broad guidance and promote unity of purpose in confronting national disasters. This pandemic requires an “all hands on deck approach”, and we can start here,” he advised.

The Opposition Leader has once again called on the government to implement measures that will provide more support for those who are suffering from the economic ravages of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.

Golding noted that “we have repeatedly pointed out that last year’s one-time cash grant was insufficient to protect a struggling population.”

He pointed out that “the research institution CAPRI recently reported that the CARE programme was ineffective at reaching many of those most in need, given the high levels of informality in our economy and the bureaucratic requirements of the CARE programme that many could not comply with.”

The Opposition Leader, who was a former spokesman on Finance and Planning, said “The Government ran a budget surplus of over $9 billion for the April-June quarter of this fiscal year,  which must be used to protect vulnerable Jamaicans. We should also allocate some of it so that supplies for hospitals do not run out,” he said.

Golding noted that “ as our children head back to school, we again ask that the GCT on laptops and tablets be removed.”

“My fellow Jamaicans, the coming weeks will be extremely challenging. If the trend continues, we are in for some very sombre times. It is up to the Government to lead the response; that is their duty and responsibility,” the Opposition Leader observed.

“The Opposition will continue to provide suggestions and provide support in combating the pandemic. We are here to work for the Jamaican people in this fight, because a fight it indeed is,” Golding declared.

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