Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Shaw continues battle of figures at party rally

Published:Saturday | November 21, 2015 | 11:00 AMGary Spaulding

The battle over economic governance between the two major political parties continued Thursday on the political platform with Opposition Spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw moving to counteract claims by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.

At a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) mass rally in Junction, St Elizabeth, Shaw quipped that while the finance minister had succeeded in passing 10 International Monetary Fund (IMF) tests, he was turning out to be a failure of the "truth test".

One of Phillips' stock platform pronounce-ments is that Jamaica was teetering at edge of an economic abyss when the People's National Party (PNP) stepped into power at the end of 2011.

But Shaw countered that economic growth had already started to gain momentum when the JLP left office, after being almost non-existent for 18 years under the PNP.

Shaw also charged that he was a constant target of Phillips' untruths with which he was attempting to mislead Jamaicans.

MILESFROM TRUTH

He declared that Phillips had travelled miles away from the truth when he claimed that the last JLP administration was unable to secure loans from multilateral institutions.

"I hope that wasn't an intentional lie, but a figment of the minister's imagination," said Shaw.

He asserted that the then JLP Government was offered much more than what it wanted when it approached multilateral agencies.

"We went in early in 2011 for $US400 million. It was oversubscribed to the extent that we had orders for $US1.2 billion," said Shaw.

"My staff asked if we should take more and I said no. We went for US$400 million and that's what we took."

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com