Infantile demands of JGRA
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) is demanding that Energy Minister Phillip Paulwell withdraw and apologise for demanding that gas station operators pass on to the wider public the reduction in prices of fuel.
First and foremost, the JGRA, along with a particular baking company, has to realise that for a country to operate efficiently, it requires the commitment of all parties. One set of individuals cannot be expected to carry the burden and the other go free. Jamaica has had more than 50 years.
Second, a fundamental advantage of the capitalist system is the ability of the private sector and the society as a whole to respond to market conditions. If the JGRA and a particular baking company are unable to respond to changes in the market conditions, it is the duty of the Government of Jamaica to invite companies to respond to changes in market conditions.
Finally, if the minister should either withdraw or apologise for his position and/or statement, public-sector employees have a moral duty and obligation to demand at least a 30 per cent increase in salaries and an increase in benefits in order to recover lost ground and to hedge against future changes in market conditions.
One sector of the economy cannot be expected to benefit from consumer subsidies and market protection while other sectors bear the burden.
Portmore, St Catherine