Wed | Dec 19, 2018

Holness impresses young men

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 12:30 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
From left: Morris Anderson, Jahvon Johnson and Shemar Barnes.
Dei-Rasi Freckleton

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, in his Budget presentation yesterday, made a believer out of Dwight Phoenix that politicians are not “fuddy-duddies”, who lack creativity.

Phoenix, who was among six young men who watched the presentation with a Gleaner news team in Clarendon, said an important element for him was the emphasis on creativity as a tool of Government.

“I believe that this talk of creativity was what made the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) seem so attractive during the election, because Jamaicans believe that politicians are stuck in their ways, old goats and hence are void of change and success. However, after listening to Holness speak, my hope for betterment lies in the balance between creativity and pragmatism,” he said.

Phoenix, however, believes the prime minister failed to give a “full empirical” view on his approach to deal with the national debt.

“I hope the 1.5 plan goes through well. Faith without works is dead.”

For Knox Community College student Morris Anderson, digitising the health sector is welcome news that should have been implemented a long time ago.

An environmental student, he volunteers at May Pen Hospital working in the records office.

“It is chaos there; so many files that they are running out of space. I think they should go full speed ahead on this one,” he said.


Youth For Change founder Dei-Rasi Freckleton, while lauding a lot of the points presented by the prime minister, said what he found most appealing were the measures aimed at debt reduction, such as the debt-for-asset initiative, high primary surplus to tackle high debt, and the removal of red tapes to increase Jamaica’s competitiveness on the global landscape.

He was also impressed with the push to have a National Identification System tied in to all the government auxiliaries. “For me, this will reduce a lot of spending.”

University of Technology economics student Shemar Barnes sees great hope for Jamaicans in Holness’ presentation.

“It was a feel-good speech. For me, the Jamaica House Fellowship stands out because I’m interested in policy development. On another note, a lot of our programmes announced are either ongoing or have been announced before, so I remain cautiously optimistic,” he said.

Jahvon Johnson, a student at Knox Community College, is emphatic that education should not be free.

According to him, while it can be subsidised, total freeness will eventually lead to chaos.

That view, however, was not shared by Andrew Mills, who passionately stated that he supported the prime minister’s sentiments that no child should be turned away from school.