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Editorial: The truth of local government

Published:Friday | July 3, 2015 | 7:00 AM

The mumbling Noel Arscott had a brief interlude of verbal clarity in the House the other day, in rebutting Desmond McKenzie's accusation that fear drove the Government to postpone municipal elections, perhaps by as much as 18 months.

The protestations of Mr Arscott and the information minister, Sandrea Falconer, notwithstanding, Mr McKenzie is right, as is the Government in its action. Which is why the Simpson Miller administration should cut the baloney about postponing the poll to accommodate legislative reform to local government and tell the people the truth.

The fact is that Government has done a reasonably good job in managing a difficult, and often painful, economic reform project, which is showing good results rectifying the country's fiscal situation. But there is a lag between these returns and the population reaping rewards from these improvements. A local government election would now be turned into a referendum on the project, likely impairing its continuation and successful conclusion.

Jamaica's local government system is yet to prove its worth, and in our view should be scrapped. The next best thing is for it to be stripped down and the elections held at the time of the national poll.