Thu | Aug 17, 2017

High marks for Holness out west … implementation the only area of concern

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 5:17 AMAdrian Frater
Livingston Brown
Brian Elliott
Cassandra Blake
Julian Malcolm
Sophia Allen
Careeca Ferguson
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is being lauded by a group of western Jamaica residents for his contribution to the 2016-17 Budget Debate in Parliament yesterday.

They said they were impressed with the way he handled issues such as the Government’s tax-reform plans, the creation of the proposed economic growth council, the rejection of the partisan distribution of public funds, the National Identification System, plans to digitise the entire government, the plan to promote public-private partnership, the expansion of business process outsourcing and office spaces in western Jamaica, reform of the National Housing Trust, and the plans to tackle crime and violence.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

According to Livingston Brown, CEO of the Montego Bay-based Brown’s Technologies, who graded the prime minister seven out of 10, he was most pleased about the plans to create opportunities for young people and the plans to digitise the Government to cut away the red tape sometimes encountered in doing business in Jamaica.

“He covered some crucial areas, and once these plans are realised, doing business in Jamaica should become much easier. I like the plan to expand the BPO, because it will mean more jobs for young people,” said Brown.

“If there is any criticism, it would have to be not giving any implementation dates for some of the plans outlined.”

Falmouth-based publisher Brian Elliott also gave Holness seven out of 10, though he was very impressed with the Government’s overall debt-reduction and tax reform plans.

However, he wanted to hear the Government’s plans to enforce some of the laws that are being breached with impunity.

“I really liked the plans to grow the economy ... . Once these plans are followed, we should be seeing serious growth in Jamaica before long. I was also most impressed by the plan to shift from direct to indirect taxation, because at present, only a few persons are bearing the tax burden,” said Elliott.

Former secretary Cassandra Blake gave Holness 90 per cent, saying his speech has restored her hope that, with the right leadership, Jamaica can prosper and become successful.

“I rather like his plans to grow the economy and the whole matter of tax reform. Once those two issues are addressed, it will bring stability into the workplace,” said Blake.

“I also like the plan for a fixed election date, because it will stop the election period from becoming a national distraction. I would have liked to have heard more about the plan to control crime, because unless we control crime, the other plans will not work.

St Elizabeth-based bursar, Sophia Allen thought the prime minister did an excellent job in articulating the Government’s plans and has given him eight of 10.

"I rather like his plan to address the partisan distribution of government assets because this is one of the greatest factors hampering national development … in PNP time JLP suffer and in JLP time PNP suffer … that has to stop for the country to grow."

Nurse practitioner Julian Malcolm believes the prime minister was bang on target in terms of her own expectations and as a consequence, she thinks he deserves a minimum of nine out of 10.

“I like the housing plans, the tax reform, especially in regards to PAYE, the public-private partnership and the plans to get rid of crime,” said Malcolm.

“My only concern is about the time frame for these plans to be implemented so we can see the benefits.”

Careeca Ferguson, who recently secured a job in the BPO sector, believes the prime minister was brilliant and thinks he deserves 10 out of 10. 

"I like the entire presentation, he was very good. I like the plans for BPO, the tax reform and the hope he brought out for young people like myself.  If the PAYE situation, the public/private partnership arrangement and all the other plans work, the future should be bright,” said Ferguson. “We just need to work with him and give him our support.”

adrian.frater@gleanerjm.com