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'We have adequate funds' - JLP declares it's ready for a lengthy election campaign

Published:Wednesday | January 13, 2016 | 1:00 AMGary Spaulding

The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) is declaring that it has enough money to survive a protracted election campaign.

JLP General Secretary Dr Horace Chang has scoffed at taunts by factions in the rival People's National Party (PNP) that the JLP is not in a position to sustain a lengthy campaign.

"We have adequate funding, and you will be seeing a lot of activities this year, whether it is in the short or the long term," promised Chang after the party's first strategic meeting for 2016.

Asked about the source of the funding, Chang said: "Once the team unites, it means that all the various groupings and individuals are of one mind to offer support."

He declared that assurances have been extended to standard-bearers during a meeting at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Sunday.

POSITIVE MONTHS FOR PARTY

He said it has been a positive few months for the party, which had been rocked by turmoil early in 2015.

"We ended the year on an extremely high note compared to the PNP and have started 2016 on a high note," he asserted.

Chang described the JLP as a united organisation going forward to win the upcoming election.

He stressed that the JLP has been on alert as a result of the PNP putting the country in election mode.

"It would be irresponsible at this point to drag the process out, as it threatens to damage the country's economy and stability," he said. "But if they plan to do so, we are also prepared."

Added Chang: "The JLP leadership is highly motivated and is doing all the required work in the field and will continue to provide all the guidance."

This focus, he said, is aimed at showcasing for Jamaicans what the JLP has to offer as alternatives.

Asked how the JLP plans to pursue its election campaign activities in 2016, Chang said it would continue its 'Prosperity Live' series and public rallies, as well as tours of constituencies.

"We hope to bring our message to the people by presenting our manifesto in a phased manner," said Chang. "We will not be putting everything out there at once."

UNEMPLOYMENT DEVASTATING

He promised the message of fiscal responsibility would be loud and clear, generating the kinds of jobs that the country needs at this time.

"Unemployment is extremely high, but even more emotionally devastating is underemployment," said Chang.

He added: "We have so many graduates with training skills and people with proficiency in physics and geology unable to find work and having to do all kinds of clerical work in order to survive."

Continued Chang: "While training is needed for others, we are destroying some of our finest minds. We need to find competencies for our bright people who are migrating to the north to find employment."

He said these people are easily picked up in the northern climes that are benefiting from growing economies.

"That is a primary focus of a future JLP administration. Andrew Holness is a young leader who is not only keen on winning the election, but to get things done."

gary.spaulding@gleanerjm.com